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TIBCO BusinessWorks 5.3

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.

As with IBM and Sonic Software, messaging is a large part of TIBCO's SOA message. We didn't find this surprising--TIBCO's Rendezvous, along with IBM's and Sonic's MQ implementations, are well known and widely implemented across a variety of industries. TIBCO, like Sonic and IBM, considers SOA a deployment strategy and an extension of integration rather than a replacement for conventional EAI implementations. Again not surprising, given all three companies' heavy investments in the EAI and messaging markets.

TIBCO's bus backbone, like Sonic's, is JMS-based, taking advantage of TIBCO's EMS product. Unlike Sonic, TIBCO lets the customer choose the underlying transport; we could replace EMS with another messaging backbone, such as SonicMQ or IBM's MQSeries, or go with a completely HTTP-based backbone. Flexibility, thy name is TIBCO.

BusinessWorks requires a runtime agent, as do all TIBCO products, to enable centralized management from its Web administration console. BW Designer, TIBCO's design-time environment is, like most non-Eclipse-based design-time products we tested, moving to Eclipse in a forthcoming release. Like Sonic and BEA, TIBCO uses the notion of "domains" for management, grouping BW servers together for administrative purposes. This is different from clustering, which is used for availability and failover. Unique to TIBCO is its support of management over WSDM, specifically using the MUWS (Management Using Web Services) profile.

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