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SOA Success Depends on Service Integration

Using JBI and Open ESB

Java Business Integration (JBI) is an effort focused on standardizing the core architecture elements of integration architectures. It is a specification developed under the Java Community Process (JCP) for an approach to implementing a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). The JCP reference is JSR-208. JBI extends Java EE and Java SE with business integration service provider interfaces (SPIs). It enables the creation of a Java business integration environment for the creation of composite applications. It defines a standard runtime architecture for assembling integration components to enable a SOA in an enterprise information system.

Open ESB is an open source integration platform based on JBI technology. It implements an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) using JBI as the foundation. This allows easy integration of Web Services to create loosely coupled, enterprise-level integration solution.

Open ESB Architecture
Because Open ESB is built on top of the JBI specification, it makes sense that, before diving into the architecture of Open ESB, we take a look at the JBI architecture, which is illustrated in Figure 1.

As the figure shows, JBI adopts a pluggable architecture. At the heart of a JBI runtime is a messaging infrastructure called Normalized Message Router (NMR) that is connected to a bunch of JBI components. JBI components are architectural building blocks of a JBI instance and are plugged into the NMR to interact with each other. The interaction among components carries out the functional logics of the JBI instance.

Normalized Message Router
The primary function of the NMR is to route normalized messages from one component to another. It enables and mediates the inter-component communication. When a component needs to interact with another component, the component does so by generating a normalized message and sending it to the NMR. The NMR will route the message to the destined component based on some routing rules. After the destined component gets and processes the message, it will generate a response message if required, and will send the response message to the NMR. It is the NMR's responsibility to deliver the response message back to the original component.

The NMR uses a WSDL-based messaging model to mediate the message exchanges between components. From the NMR's point-of-view, all JBI components are service providers and/or service consumers. The WSDL-based model defines operations as a message exchange between a service provider and a service consumer. A component can be a service provider, a service consumer, or both. Service consumers identify needed services by a WSDL service name rather than end-point address. This provides the necessary level of abstraction and decouples the consumer from the provider, allowing the NMR to select the appropriate service provider transparently to the consumer.

An instance of an end-to-end interaction between a service consumer and a service provider is referred to as a service invocation. JBI mandates four types of interactions: One-Way, Reliable One-Way, Request-Response, and Request Optional-Response. These interactions map to the message exchange patterns (MEPs) defined by WSDL 2.0 Predefined Extensions.

The NMR also supports various levels of quality of service for message delivery depending on application needs and the nature of the messages being delivered.

More Stories By Jinsong Yang

Jinsong Yang is a senior application engineer at Warnerbros. Advanced Digital Services, and is a Sun Certified Enterprise Architect. He has devoted the last six-plus years to designing and integrating large-scale Java EE applications. He holds an MS in computer science from UCLA.

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