Messaging company Sonic Software has extended its enterprise service bus (ESB) integration platform, adding a new suite of management, development and data transformation tools.
Last year Sonic became the first company to introduce the ESB application integration approach, identified by analyst IDC as a fundamentally radical, potentially disruptive change.
Sonic ESB 5.0, previously called SonicXQ, includes a pluggable security framework supporting communication between different security regimes in the enterprise or business partners.
A unified management dashboard runs a Java management extensions-based infrastructure for configuring, deployment, monitoring and fault diagnosis.
Other additions include an XML server, development environment, over 200 proprietary software adaptors, and transparent access to redundant communication servers for high availability.
"The core value of ESB is that it is not rip-and-replace," Sonic EMEA managing director Dave Peter told vnunet.com. "But it has a fundamentally disruptive pricing model."
He said the base cost of £6,000 per processor compared favourably with enterprise application integration (EAI) vendors' alternatives that cost from $250,000 (£160,000).
"ESB has much greater potential than other EAI approaches. It's not just large organisations that have integration issues," said Rob Hailstone, IDC's software infrastructure research director.
ESBs lack functionality, he said, although he added: "Once you have the basic infrastructure you can easily add on all sorts of useful bits."
Data transformation during transit is a key part of the ESB concept. For instance, it allows web services applications to communicate directly with J2EE connector architecture-connected applications.
"The technology lets you build an inventory of services. Once connected to the bus everyone can access, and asynchronous messaging guarantees delivery," said Peter.
The new management dashboard, orchestration and security are all necessary for handling more than a couple of point-to-point system connections, said Hailstone.
Sonic, a subsidiary of Progress Software, has now incorporated its own subsidiaries with direct sales in France, Germany, Italy, Netherlands and the UK.
Sonic ESB will be available at the end of April, costing $10,000 per processor.
The Business Integration Suite consists of Sonic Orchestration Server, XML Server, Integration Studio and a set of over 200 adaptors for software such as SAP, PeopleSoft, mainframe and legacy applications, as well as EDI systems like Swift and HIPAA.
Sonic Integration Studio is a development workbench that includes a visual XML transformation mapper, debugger, query-builder, intelligent route-builder and business process modeller.
It makes use of extensible stylesheet language transformation, which can be used to convert XML documents to HTML, PDF and other document formats.
Orchestration Server (costing $12,500), XML Server ($10,000) and Integration Studio (price to be decided) will appear in the third quarter. Prices vary for adaptors, which are available now.
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