Red Hat prepares complex events processing for SOA

David Worthington
October 10, 2008 —  Red Hat has laid the groundwork for the addition of complex events processing to its open-source platform for Service Oriented Architecture with a new edition of the JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform and a complementary governance product.

On Wednesday, Red Hat delivered JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform 4.3 and JBoss Operations Network 2.1. The releases set the stage for more advanced capabilities around rules management, followed by Complex Events Processing (CEP), said Pierre Fricke, director of product line management of SOA at Red Hat.

JBoss Enterprise SOA Platform 4.3 introduces several new features to the platform’s Enterprise Service Bus (ESB), including a declarative security model, foundational business rules capabilities and expanded scripting support for simplifying Web services integration.

This release is intended to flesh out the JBoss’ business event processing. It adds support for decision tables and business rule agents, in addition to stateful rules services. Business rules play a key role in the platform.

JBoss is designed with an event-driven architecture that uses gateway "listeners" to process business events as they pass into the ESB, Fricke explained. Messages are routed to services by Red Hat’s jBPM workflow engine based upon parameters established by business rules.

“The notion of business rules in SOA will become more important,” said Fricke, especially in financial services, where he forecasted more government regulation on the horizon. “It is advantageous for organizations to publish rules in SOA rather than business logic in Java Web applications, because it is easier to update that way.”

Other new features are the addition of gateway listeners for FTPS and HTTPS, a broader set of supported message types, and a declarative security model that provides for XML-based configurations for registering and deploying Web services.

Prior to this release, developers had to write Java code to publish a service in the ESB, said Fricke. He noted that future releases would conform to the Service Component Architecture specifications, which describe a model for building applications and systems.

JBoss Operations Network 2.1 now offers centralized management of the JBoss Enterprise SOA platform, including patch management, remote platform management and service deployment. It also automatically discovers ESB service inventory.

Only basic SOA governance is provided. Operations Network can monitor the performance of services to help guarantee service level agreements, setting thresholds and sending alerts, said Fricke. However, he encouraged customers to turn to Red Hat’s partners, AmberPoint and SOA Software, for deployment and SOA governance across the enterprise.

In contrast, Red Hat is nearly ready to deliver more-advanced ESB capabilities. Extended business-rules features will be delivered within the next six months, with CEP arriving before the end of 2009, he said. Business rules management will also be integrated with Red Hat’s JBoss Developer Studio open-source development environment.

Related Search Term(s): business rules, Java, security, SOA & SaaS, Red Hat

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