Tuesday, August 30, 2005

Java Business Integration

Java Business Integration

A good introduction to what JBI is about. However I'm skeptical that this is a better way to build integrations especially based upon the author's comment on the canonical document.

Steve Vinoski, writes "All the messages exchanged through the NMR are normalized messages, which doesn’t imply that all messages are converted to a canonical format. As I mentioned, EAI systems already proved that translating messages into canonical formats can negatively impact performance, scalability, and the ability to further integrate systems with other integration infrastructures. The NMR avoids these ­negative impacts by treating message payloads as opaque data that it simply sends along to the receiver."

Steve Vinoski, "Java Business Integration," IEEE Internet Computing, vol. 9, no. 4, 2005, pp. 89-91.

Not only have I not seen this performance issue, the canonical format is one of the bigger benefits from inserting an integration layer. Sure things like persisted messaging, async processing etc are nice but at the end of the day if you have tied all of your integrations together without the canonical, what are you left with? A very robust set of point-to-point integrations. Maybe I'm missing the boat here but it seems to violate the principals of abstraction, de-coupling etc. It seems that we are just moving the translation engine out of the middle layer and letting the application(s) do it. Is that really a good thing?


Anonymous said...

The author also wrote "much of the industry regards EAI as a failed integration strategy that served only to lock customers into single-vendor proprietary “money pit” systems."

So, integration using messages and intermediaries is OK, as long as you don't use a vendor's tool to do it. Guess we won't need to be looking into anything IONA has to offer.

Yeah, I get it, Steve.

Nathan Lee said...

Aah, I agree there.. People can talk up avoiding using proprietry platforms all they like, but the reason they exist is because they are good at what they do!

Sure we can do everything in java and/or XSL, but really, REALLY you don't want to do that.

Give me a visual mapping tool over those any day of the week..


kurtstam said...

I guess neither Mule nor ServiceMix require you to transform to a canonical message format, but nothing stops you from doing so right? I agree that having a canonical message representation pays off in the long run.