Welcome!

Java IoT Authors: Liz McMillan, Elizabeth White, APM Blog, Lori MacVittie, 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
SYS-CON Events announced today that Roundee / LinearHub will exhibit at the WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LinearHub provides Roundee Service, a smart platform for enterprise video conferencing with enhanced features such as automatic recording and transcription service. Slack users can integrate Roundee to their team via Slack’s App Directory, and '/roundee' command lets your video conference ...
Digital transformation is too big and important for our future success to not understand the rules that apply to it. The first three rules for winning in this age of hyper-digital transformation are: Advantages in speed, analytics and operational tempos must be captured by implementing an optimized information logistics system (OILS) Real-time operational tempos (IT, people and business processes) must be achieved Businesses that can "analyze data and act and with speed" will dominate those t...
IoT is fundamentally transforming the auto industry, turning the vehicle into a hub for connected services, including safety, infotainment and usage-based insurance. Auto manufacturers – and businesses across all verticals – have built an entire ecosystem around the Connected Car, creating new customer touch points and revenue streams. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Macario Namie, Head of IoT Strategy at Cisco Jasper, will share real-world examples of how IoT transforms the car from a static p...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Almost two-thirds of companies either have or soon will have IoT as the backbone of their business in 2016. However, IoT is far more complex than most firms expected. How can you not get trapped in the pitfalls? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Tony Shan, a renowned visionary and thought leader, will introduce a holistic method of IoTification, which is the process of IoTifying the existing technology and business models to adopt and leverage IoT. He will drill down to the components in this fra...
The Transparent Cloud-computing Consortium (abbreviation: T-Cloud Consortium) will conduct research activities into changes in the computing model as a result of collaboration between "device" and "cloud" and the creation of new value and markets through organic data processing High speed and high quality networks, and dramatic improvements in computer processing capabilities, have greatly changed the nature of applications and made the storing and processing of data on the network commonplace.
SYS-CON Events announced today that ReadyTalk, a leading provider of online conferencing and webinar services, has been named Vendor Presentation Sponsor at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. ReadyTalk delivers audio and web conferencing services that inspire collaboration and enable the Future of Work for today’s increasingly digital and mobile workforce. By combining intuitive, innovative tec...
I'm a lonely sensor. I spend all day telling the world how I'm feeling, but none of the other sensors seem to care. I want to be connected. I want to build relationships with other sensors to be more useful for my human. I want my human to understand that when my friends next door are too hot for a while, I'll soon be flaming. And when all my friends go outside without me, I may be left behind. Don't just log my data; use the relationship graph. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Ryan Boyd, Engi...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Pulzze Systems will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Pulzze Systems, Inc. provides infrastructure products for the Internet of Things to enable any connected device and system to carry out matched operations without programming. For more information, visit http://www.pulzzesystems.com.
IoT offers a value of almost $4 trillion to the manufacturing industry through platforms that can improve margins, optimize operations & drive high performance work teams. By using IoT technologies as a foundation, manufacturing customers are integrating worker safety with manufacturing systems, driving deep collaboration and utilizing analytics to exponentially increased per-unit margins. However, as Benoit Lheureux, the VP for Research at Gartner points out, “IoT project implementers often ...
There is growing need for data-driven applications and the need for digital platforms to build these apps. In his session at 19th Cloud Expo, Muddu Sudhakar, VP and GM of Security & IoT at Splunk, will cover different PaaS solutions and Big Data platforms that are available to build applications. In addition, AI and machine learning are creating new requirements that developers need in the building of next-gen apps. The next-generation digital platforms have some of the past platform needs a...
If you’re responsible for an application that depends on the data or functionality of various IoT endpoints – either sensors or devices – your brand reputation depends on the security, reliability, and compliance of its many integrated parts. If your application fails to deliver the expected business results, your customers and partners won't care if that failure stems from the code you developed or from a component that you integrated. What can you do to ensure that the endpoints work as expect...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
Is your aging software platform suffering from technical debt while the market changes and demands new solutions at a faster clip? It’s a bold move, but you might consider walking away from your core platform and starting fresh. ReadyTalk did exactly that. In his General Session at 19th Cloud Expo, Michael Chambliss, Head of Engineering at ReadyTalk, will discuss why and how ReadyTalk diverted from healthy revenue and over a decade of audio conferencing product development to start an innovati...
WebRTC adoption has generated a wave of creative uses of communications and collaboration through websites, sales apps, customer care and business applications. As WebRTC has become more mainstream it has evolved to use cases beyond the original peer-to-peer case, which has led to a repeating requirement for interoperability with existing infrastructures. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Graham Holt, Executive Vice President of Daitan Group, will cover implementation examples that have enabled ea...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Numerex Corp, a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT), will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Numerex Corp. (NASDAQ:NMRX) is a leading provider of managed enterprise solutions enabling the Internet of Things (IoT). The Company's solutions produce new revenue streams or create operating...
Fifty billion connected devices and still no winning protocols standards. HTTP, WebSockets, MQTT, and CoAP seem to be leading in the IoT protocol race at the moment but many more protocols are getting introduced on a regular basis. Each protocol has its pros and cons depending on the nature of the communications. Does there really need to be only one protocol to rule them all? Of course not. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, walk you through how Oct...
"My role is working with customers, helping them go through this digital transformation. I spend a lot of time talking to banks, big industries, manufacturers working through how they are integrating and transforming their IT platforms and moving them forward," explained William Morrish, General Manager Product Sales at Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
According to Forrester Research, every business will become either a digital predator or digital prey by 2020. To avoid demise, organizations must rapidly create new sources of value in their end-to-end customer experiences. True digital predators also must break down information and process silos and extend digital transformation initiatives to empower employees with the digital resources needed to win, serve, and retain customers.
In this strange new world where more and more power is drawn from business technology, companies are effectively straddling two paths on the road to innovation and transformation into digital enterprises. The first path is the heritage trail – with “legacy” technology forming the background. Here, extant technologies are transformed by core IT teams to provide more API-driven approaches. Legacy systems can restrict companies that are transitioning into digital enterprises. To truly become a lea...