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Testing Update: License to Connect

An enterprise service bus (ESB) is essentially an integration technology. It's designed to integrate applications and technology using standards-based protocols. JDBC. JMS. SOAP. FTP.
But it is, at its core, an integration technology. That means adapters. Endpoints. Integration points. Whatever.

Part of testing an ESB must, therefore, be to evaluate the mechanisms provided for connecting to disparate systems, such as NWC Inc.'s Oracle 9i database. That requires a database adapter.

Most vendors I've tested are using DataDirect JDBC drivers as the means by which a database is integrated with the bus. Some, however, use a proprietary adapter. There's no technical issue with this whatsoever. But let's discuss the licensing issue because that is, as it has always been with integration technologies, a problem.

Usually, it's just a painful process of insuring that a single, all encompassing license file includes all the adapters you'll need. But this week I learned a new trick, one I'm going to call a connect license. Usually license files are added to the system through the administrative console and never thought of again. But this product required - yes REQUIRED - that a license key be entered whenever a database connection was configured. Every. Time.

Now you may be thinking "So what? I'm only going to set up maybe 3 or 4 database connections, that's not a big deal!"

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