Artix 4.0 Takes a Bite Out of MOM Costs
Artix 4.0, the ESB upgrade from Iona, takes another step forward in its vision to craft a set of plumbing, framework, and tools to let enterprise IT easily share services end-to-end across multiple platforms -- including J2EE-to-.NET, J2EE app servers, proprietary middlewares and even to the mainframe. IDN looks at the Artix 4.0 upgrade features getting user attention.
Artix 4.0 takes another step forward in Iona's vision to craft a combination of plumbing, framework, and tools to let enterprise IT share services end-to-end across multiple platforms -- including J2EE-to-.NET, J2EE app servers, proprietary middlewares and even between the n-tier and the mainframe.
"With our latest Artix 4.0 support for transactionality, reliability, service management and tooling, we're seeing clearly that Artix is being seen as a core backbone for service enablement and integration than simply as an add-on," Stephanos Bacon, Iona's vice president, product development told IDN.
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The Artix 4.0 upgrades attack three high-level SOA customer requirements, Bacon said.
- 1. Despite spending a lot on IT the past 20 years, their perception is that they haven't gotten their money's worth - and now SOA needs to fulfill that promise of leveraging existing investments.
2. IT needs to cut the cost and improve their capability to deliver updating and new application and data-based services.
3. CIOs are looking to modernize and streamline their existing hand-coded infrastructure and integration architectures -- without any rip-and-replace of existing technologies.
Inside the Artix 4.0 Attention-Getting
One of the top attention-getters in Artix 4.0, Bacon said, is support for WS-ReliableMessaging standards. While many CIOs say they want WS-* support to ensure integrity of their web services, Bacon said Iona is seeing another important driver - a low-cost way to extend legacy-caliber transactionality to web services.
"The main driver for WS-RM is cases where people want to extend existing MOM [Message Oriented Middleware] infrastructure without buying proprietary licenses," Bacon told IDN. "Customer running MQSeries, or Tibco doesn't want to pay for a client license to install on all their Windows boxes. They would like to build their client apps so if they need to talk over messaging, they can simply use WS-RM, and know they have an onramp onto their big corporate message bus."
Iona has engagements where customers are looking closely at WS-RM to cut a lot of their MOM-related costs, Bacon said. "Yes, costs are such a driver now for customers that we are seeing prospects even looking at Open Source alternatives to cut costs associated with [MOM or other message infrastructure]. This will be a big customer demand."
Artix 4.0 is also tackling deployment of new orchestrated workflows.
Artix 4.0 bundles a BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) engine, which can be coupled with an Eclipse-based UI. The result: devs and non-devs can better communicate with one another about how workflows and application logic should work -- and much of the design-time work can be leveraged when it comes to deployment.
"In Artix 4.0, we distinguish between service orchestration and business process management," Bacon said. Our view is that your service orchestration might be comprised of a number of what we might call 'micro-flows' or a number of existing or new services that you want to aggregate together, such as for inventory control or online transactions. For maximum flexibility and low cost, I don't want to hardwire these together into a C++ or Java implementation."
"We use the base Eclipse [tools] framework, and have added a customized UI that allows users to draw a picture of how they want the new service to operate. The tool eliminates a lot of configuration management, hard-coded integration between code sets, code compiling. It also allows users to do data mapping without writing code (just with XML and Xpath)." The end product can be deployed dynamically, he added.
Inside Artix 4.0 Enhancements
Here's a thumbnail of the Artix 4.0 enhancements:
Artix 4.0 is available now, with Artix runtime priced at 10,000 per CPU, and plug-ins starting at $2,500 per CPU.