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Software AG Enterprise Service Integrator (ESI) 7.2

In November we began our quest to find the ultimate ESB (enterprise service bus) suite by issuing an invitation to a dozen vendors. Eight took us up on our challenge and sent software to our Green Bay, Wis., business applications lab, home of our fictional widget maker, NWC Inc.
Over the ensuing weeks, we posted regular updates from Lori MacVittie in NWC's Real-World Labs. We also made available our vendor invites, test plan and other materials from the testing process. Next week rolled out the individual product evaluations from our ESB vendor participants, including BEA, Cape Clear, Fiorano, IBM, Oracle, Sonic Software, Software AG and TIBCO.
Now, see the final results as we reveal our Editor's Choice winner and post our market analysis and Interactive Report Card so you can build your own ESB shortlist.

Software AG Enterprise Service Integrator (ESI) 7.2 Software AG has been around since I was born, and in the integration game nearly as long. The software company, which is based in Germany, has undergone some changes lately and is jumping into the SOA game with both feet.

Although most products we tested had nearly one-click installs (one-click as in a single installation, as opposed to multiple installations of products in a particular order while burning incense and chanting about dead chickens under the light of a full moon), Enterprise Service Integrator (ESI) stipulated a few updates to our system before we could install all the moving parts: Microsoft Installer 3.1 was required only to install an update to Tamino (SAG's XML database), and Tamino in turn required an external Apache installation before it could be installed. Other than that, installation was a smooth process.

SAG's ESI is a J2EE system deployed by default into a JBoss container. Like the products from Oracle and Cape Clear, it can be deployed within a BEA WebLogic or IBM WebSphere container. Its Tamino XML database is used to persist process data and enable load balancing/failover configurations. ESI is unique among our participants in its use of Java RMI (Remote Method Invocation) as the communication protocol between its standalone Connection Factories and the ESI core server, the Host Manager. As with several other products we tested, messages are transported on the bus in XML format. SAG uses the term "sequence" to refer to orchestrated services, and these sequences are stored as XML-based metadata in its CentraSite SOA repository. Sequences are called through portals, which clients can communicate with using SOAP/HTTP or JMS.

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