• 02/15/2006
    5:00 AM
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BEA Systems AquaLogic Service Bus 2.1

Despite limited built-in support for integration with external data sources, excellent Web services support and solid performance at a fair price makes BEA's service bus a strong option for enterprises.

AquaLogic distinguishes business services from proxy services, emphasizing that external clients will always connect to a proxy while internal services may communicate with either. Business services can communicate without requiring the overhead of an HTTP session. Proxies, by definition, require an HTTP session. That's overhead that can degrade performance--every TCP intermediary adds latency and a point of failure. AquaLogic supports e-mail, HTTP/S, various file formats, JMS, and FTP out of the box. We created an SMTP service to send e-mail and a JMS service to call out to our OpenJMS queue, and included a call-out to a Web service hosted on an external .Net server within NWC Inc.'s infrastructure. The orchestration notation used within AquaLogic is proprietary, but we found the notation intuitive and close enough to BPMN (Business Process Modeling Notation) that users should experience very little trouble orchestrating services with it.

Web service support within AquaLogic is excellent; BEA supports the WS-I Basic Security Profile requirements as well as SAML 2.0 and the Web Services Security Username/Certificate profile. WS-I compliance testing is also a checkbox item when orchestrating Web services, though as with other products supporting this particular test, we don't suggest using it in production as it imparts a heavy performance penalty.

After orchestrating the service, we used AquaLogic's Web-based proxy tester to test the resulting proxy service; we dug into the flow and examined the requests and responses as they passed through. The one thing missing from the tester is the execution time of each step in the flow, a feature provided by competitors TIBCO and Oracle that we thought gave them a bit of an edge.

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