Click here to close now.

Welcome!

JAVA IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, John Wetherill, Carmen Gonzalez, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: JAVA IoT

JAVA IoT: Article

SOA + EDA = Open Source ESB: ServiceMix(*)

Developing a new type of ESB

Today's enterprise applications are distributed by design. For applications to interact with one another over networks optimally, they require Service Oriented and Event Driven Architectures made up of loosely federated business resources, that interact by exchanging requests (for data delivery and integration, as well as for services) and that can handle streams of diverse business processes in real-time. To support large-scale, enterprise integration, organizations need to adopt strategies that rationalize the infrastructure for integration based on the requirements of business/IT organization itself. The only successful integration efforts are those that provide agile, pervasive and low cost solutions in order to cater to today's diverse deployment environments, while fully leveraging available standards.

Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), which can be defined as middleware that brings together both integration technologies and runtime services to make business services widely available for reuse, offers the best solution for meeting today's enterprise application integration challenges by providing a software infrastructure that enables SOA. However, there are currently a number of different vendors that provide ESB solutions, some of which focus purely on SOAP/HTTP and others who provide multi-protocol capabilities. Because these vendors span the horizon from big enterprise generalists (app servers), to mid-tier enterprise integration providers, all the way to smaller, ESB/integration specific-providers - there doesn't seem to be an established consensus regarding the key requirements for an ESB.

As application architects, we have often thought about what requirements would define an ESB designed specifically to cater to the needs of an agile, enterprise integration model. In building for these specific requirements, we realized that we actually needed to develop a new type of ESB - hence the ServiceMix project.

Characteristics of an Agile ESB
The main criteria we were looking for in our ESB are as follows:

  • Standards based - While standards-based support is marketed by many ESB vendors, the support is provided externally, requiring developers to work with proprietary APIs when directly interacting with internal APIs. ServiceMix was designed with the requirement to eliminate product API lock-in, by being built from the ground up to support the Java Business Integration specification (JSR 208). Our agile ESB needs to use JBI as a first class citizen, but also support POJO deployment for ease of use and testing.
  • Flexible - Another characteristic of an agile ESB is the flexibility with which it can be deployed within enterprise application integration framework: standalone, embedded in an application component, or as part of the services supported by an application server. This allows for component re-use throughout the enterprise. For example, the binding for a real-time data feed might be aggregated as a web-service running within an application server, or streamed directly into a fat client on a traders desk. An agile ESB should be able to run both types of configurations seamlessly.

    To provide rapid prototyping, an agile ESB should support both scripting languages and embedded rule engines, allowing business processes to be modeled and deployed quickly.

    Some have argued that integration functionality is best place at the edges of the network. Others prefer a logical ESB server to be separate from the edges - to keep the edges simple and lightweight. Both approaches have their strengths and weaknesses - so we wanted an ESB that is simple and lightweight to deploy into any JVM or into a web server or a full Java EE server - reusing all the available facilities in which it is deployed.

  • Reliable - Our ESB needs to handle network outages and system failures and to be able to reroute message flows and requests to circumvent failures.
  • Breadth of Connectivity - An agile ESB must support both two way reliable Web-services and Message Oriented-Middleware and needs to co-operate seamlessly with EIS and custom components, such as batch files.
In addition we want support for the various new WS-* standards to do with connectivity like WS-Notification, WS-DistributedManagement and WS-ReliableMessaging.

We also wanted our agile ESB to be vendor independent and open source, to promote user control of source code and direction. An added benefit of this is not only the zero purchase cost, but the total cost of ownership will be reduced where users are actively contributing and maintaining our ESB.

We rapidly came to the conclusion, that as there was no single product that would adequately meet our needs, we'd have just go a head and build one!

What Is JBI?
There has been a fair amount of buzz about JBI and there is some confusion over what JBI (JSR 208) is.

JBI is a simple API to a Normalized Message Service and Router along with a component and management model for deploying integration services such as routing engines, BPEL engines, rule systems, transformation engines etc.

JBI provides a logical XML messaging network which maps well to web services, HTTP, email and JMS/MOM while easily adapting to legacy systems, binary transports and RPC systems like EJB and CORBA. Think of it as the next logical abstraction above JMS, with support for different message exchanges (one way, request response etc).

The binding components deal with all the plumbing and protocol stuff, then service engine components work on a logical XML layer, providing content based routing, orchestration, rules, transformations and custom enrichment etc.

So BPEL engines no longer need to deal with all of the possible protocols, transports and wire formats; they can just delegate to JBI for the physical routing to service endpoints. Similarly content based routers, rules engines, transformation engines can sit on the JBI bus and do their thing. JBI is looking like being a great API for integration component developers.

Many application developers will still end up writing POJO services and dropping them into their container and exposing them as web services - so often they won't need to use the JBI APIs directly; but for integration vendors and open source integration projects, JBI provides a way for us to all work together at the ESB level and to reuse integration containers, components and tooling.

ServiceMix
ServiceMix is an open source (Apache licensed) Enterprise Service Bus which is compliant with the Java Business Specification (JBI), JSR 208.

ServiceMix already provides JBI support for Apache Geronimo, the first application server to provide this feature.

More Stories By Robert Davies

Rob Davies is chief technology officer at FuseSource. One of the original members of the team, he co-founded LogicBlaze which was purchased by IONA and is now FuseSource. Prior to working for Logicblaze, he was a founder and the CTO of SpiritSoft which was purchased by Sun Microsystems. Rob has over 20 years experience of developing high performance distributed enterprise systems and products for telcos and finance, and is best known for his work at the Apache Software Foundation where he co-founded the ServiceMix, ActiveMQ, and Camel projects. He is now the PMC chair of ServiceMix and continues to be an active committer on all three projects. You can read his blog, On Open Source Integration, or follow him on twitter.

More Stories By James Strachan

James Strachan, technical director at IONA, is responsible for helping the Company provide open source offerings for organizations requiring secure, high-performance distributed systems and integration solutions. He is heavily involved in the open source community, and has co-founded several Apache projects, including ActiveMQ, Camel, Geronimo and ServiceMix. He also created the "Groovy" scripting language and additional open source projects such as dom4j, jaxen and Jelly. Prior to joining IONA, James spent more than 20 years in enterprise software development. Previously, James co-founded LogicBlaze, Inc., an enterprise open source company acquired by IONA. Prior to that, he founded SpiritSoft, Inc., a company providing enterprise Java middleware services.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


@ThingsExpo Stories
"People are a lot more knowledgeable about APIs now. There are two types of people who work with APIs - IT people who want to use APIs for something internal and the product managers who want to do something outside APIs for people to connect to them," explained Roberto Medrano, Executive Vice President at SOA Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at Cloud Expo, held Nov 4–6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Almost everyone sees the potential of Internet of Things but how can businesses truly unlock that potential. The key will be in the ability to discover business insight in the midst of an ocean of Big Data generated from billions of embedded devices via Systems of Discover. Businesses will also need to ensure that they can sustain that insight by leveraging the cloud for global reach, scale and elasticity.
The 4th International Internet of @ThingsExpo, co-located with the 17th International Cloud Expo - to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA - announces that its Call for Papers is open. The Internet of Things (IoT) is the biggest idea since the creation of the Worldwide Web more than 20 years ago.
In their session at @ThingsExpo, Shyam Varan Nath, Principal Architect at GE, and Ibrahim Gokcen, who leads GE's advanced IoT analytics, focused on the Internet of Things / Industrial Internet and how to make it operational for business end-users. Learn about the challenges posed by machine and sensor data and how to marry it with enterprise data. They also discussed the tips and tricks to provide the Industrial Internet as an end-user consumable service using Big Data Analytics and Industrial Cloud.
Building low-cost wearable devices can enhance the quality of our lives. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Sai Yamanoor, Embedded Software Engineer at Altschool, provided an example of putting together a small keychain within a $50 budget that educates the user about the air quality in their surroundings. He also provided examples such as building a wearable device that provides transit or recreational information. He then reviewed the resources available to build wearable devices at home including open source hardware, the raw materials required and the options available to power s...
How do APIs and IoT relate? The answer is not as simple as merely adding an API on top of a dumb device, but rather about understanding the architectural patterns for implementing an IoT fabric. There are typically two or three trends: Exposing the device to a management framework Exposing that management framework to a business centric logic Exposing that business layer and data to end users. This last trend is the IoT stack, which involves a new shift in the separation of what stuff happens, where data lives and where the interface lies. For instance, it's a mix of architectural styles ...
We certainly live in interesting technological times. And no more interesting than the current competing IoT standards for connectivity. Various standards bodies, approaches, and ecosystems are vying for mindshare and positioning for a competitive edge. It is clear that when the dust settles, we will have new protocols, evolved protocols, that will change the way we interact with devices and infrastructure. We will also have evolved web protocols, like HTTP/2, that will be changing the very core of our infrastructures. At the same time, we have old approaches made new again like micro-services...
Connected devices and the Internet of Things are getting significant momentum in 2014. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Hunter, Chief Scientist & Technology Evangelist at Greenwave Systems, examined three key elements that together will drive mass adoption of the IoT before the end of 2015. The first element is the recent advent of robust open source protocols (like AllJoyn and WebRTC) that facilitate M2M communication. The second is broad availability of flexible, cost-effective storage designed to handle the massive surge in back-end data in a world where timely analytics is e...
Collecting data in the field and configuring multitudes of unique devices is a time-consuming, labor-intensive process that can stretch IT resources. Horan & Bird [H&B], Australia’s fifth-largest Solar Panel Installer, wanted to automate sensor data collection and monitoring from its solar panels and integrate the data with its business and marketing systems. After data was collected and structured, two major areas needed to be addressed: improving developer workflows and extending access to a business application to multiple users (multi-tenancy). Docker, a container technology, was used to ...
The true value of the Internet of Things (IoT) lies not just in the data, but through the services that protect the data, perform the analysis and present findings in a usable way. With many IoT elements rooted in traditional IT components, Big Data and IoT isn’t just a play for enterprise. In fact, the IoT presents SMBs with the prospect of launching entirely new activities and exploring innovative areas. CompTIA research identifies several areas where IoT is expected to have the greatest impact.
The Industrial Internet revolution is now underway, enabled by connected machines and billions of devices that communicate and collaborate. The massive amounts of Big Data requiring real-time analysis is flooding legacy IT systems and giving way to cloud environments that can handle the unpredictable workloads. Yet many barriers remain until we can fully realize the opportunities and benefits from the convergence of machines and devices with Big Data and the cloud, including interoperability, data security and privacy.
The Internet of Things is tied together with a thin strand that is known as time. Coincidentally, at the core of nearly all data analytics is a timestamp. When working with time series data there are a few core principles that everyone should consider, especially across datasets where time is the common boundary. In his session at Internet of @ThingsExpo, Jim Scott, Director of Enterprise Strategy & Architecture at MapR Technologies, discussed single-value, geo-spatial, and log time series data. By focusing on enterprise applications and the data center, he will use OpenTSDB as an example t...
The Internet of Things is not only adding billions of sensors and billions of terabytes to the Internet. It is also forcing a fundamental change in the way we envision Information Technology. For the first time, more data is being created by devices at the edge of the Internet rather than from centralized systems. What does this mean for today's IT professional? In this Power Panel at @ThingsExpo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will addresses this very serious issue of profound change in the industry.
Scott Jenson leads a project called The Physical Web within the Chrome team at Google. Project members are working to take the scalability and openness of the web and use it to talk to the exponentially exploding range of smart devices. Nearly every company today working on the IoT comes up with the same basic solution: use my server and you'll be fine. But if we really believe there will be trillions of these devices, that just can't scale. We need a system that is open a scalable and by using the URL as a basic building block, we open this up and get the same resilience that the web enjoys.
We are reaching the end of the beginning with WebRTC, and real systems using this technology have begun to appear. One challenge that faces every WebRTC deployment (in some form or another) is identity management. For example, if you have an existing service – possibly built on a variety of different PaaS/SaaS offerings – and you want to add real-time communications you are faced with a challenge relating to user management, authentication, authorization, and validation. Service providers will want to use their existing identities, but these will have credentials already that are (hopefully) i...
All major researchers estimate there will be tens of billions devices - computers, smartphones, tablets, and sensors - connected to the Internet by 2020. This number will continue to grow at a rapid pace for the next several decades. With major technology companies and startups seriously embracing IoT strategies, now is the perfect time to attend @ThingsExpo, June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City. Learn what is going on, contribute to the discussions, and ensure that your enterprise is as "IoT-Ready" as it can be
Container frameworks, such as Docker, provide a variety of benefits, including density of deployment across infrastructure, convenience for application developers to push updates with low operational hand-holding, and a fairly well-defined deployment workflow that can be orchestrated. Container frameworks also enable a DevOps approach to application development by cleanly separating concerns between operations and development teams. But running multi-container, multi-server apps with containers is very hard. You have to learn five new and different technologies and best practices (libswarm, sy...
SYS-CON Events announced today that DragonGlass, an enterprise search platform, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. After eleven years of designing and building custom applications, OpenCrowd has launched DragonGlass, a cloud-based platform that enables the development of search-based applications. These are a new breed of applications that utilize a search index as their backbone for data retrieval. They can easily adapt to new data sets and provide access to both structured and unstruc...
The Internet of Things is a misnomer. That implies that everything is on the Internet, and that simply should not be - especially for things that are blurring the line between medical devices that stimulate like a pacemaker and quantified self-sensors like a pedometer or pulse tracker. The mesh of things that we manage must be segmented into zones of trust for sensing data, transmitting data, receiving command and control administrative changes, and peer-to-peer mesh messaging. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Bagnulo, Solution Architect / Software Engineer at SOA Software, focused on desi...
An entirely new security model is needed for the Internet of Things, or is it? Can we save some old and tested controls for this new and different environment? In his session at @ThingsExpo, New York's at the Javits Center, Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, reviewed hands-on lessons with IoT devices and reveal a new risk balance you might not expect. Davi Ottenheimer, EMC Senior Director of Trust, has more than nineteen years' experience managing global security operations and assessments, including a decade of leading incident response and digital forensics. He is co-author of t...