Wednesday, 26 September 2007

Cape Clear ESB 7.5 uncovered

We @ the Cape have just unveiled a new version of our integration platform. The version number is a bit misleading - the "dot 5" seems to indicate that this is an incremental release and that it will contain few, if any, innovative new features. This is not the case. In this instance the version number is dictated by marketing and commercial constraints and does not fully reflect the added value in "the box".

The truth is that 7.5 contains several new capabilities that would proudly headline any new "dot 0" release. Here are my top 3.

1. Integration Assemblies - Assemblies are a Spring-based mechanism for defining message processing chains. These chains allow integrators to specify how messages that are being placed on, or taken from, the bus are processed. 7.5 offers a variety of logging, transformation, validation, eventing, and routing capabilities to the integrator and, because assemblies are Spring-based, these processing chains can be easily customised and extended. 7.5 also packs a new Assembly editor which offers an intuitive graphical alternative to those of you who dont like editing raw XML (you know who you are :-o). Assemblies have 3 major benefits:
  • They make the 'wiring' of interfaces to implementations much easier and thus result in big productivity benefits.
  • They are payload- and transport- agnostic and therefore allow integrators to define multiple on- and off- ramps for services on the bus. This gives integrators the capability to define business services once but to configure multiple access paths to that service via SOAP over HTTP, REST-ful invocation over JMS or whatever. In fact we have realised the "Software as a Customisable Service" which I blogged here.
  • They are open, standards-based and extensible allowing integrators to support custom transports and mediation steps quickly.
2. Enhanced multi-channel support including SOAP & REST-ful interfaces - In 7.5 it is possible to compose applications from a variety of service interfaces. Cape Clear 7.5 does not require that the component services are WS-ready, in fact we think that such a limitation is a ridiculous idea. 7.5 therefore provides capabilities where composite, stateful BPEL-based services can be built from a variety of component interfaces including both WS (Soap/WSDL) and REST (XML over HTTP and URL encoded) styles. This allows organisations to leverage many more service components to create business value for customers.

3. Multi-tenancy support - Most service providers have a requirement to provide a customer-specific view of the application and data. Many also have the requirement to demonstrate traceability of the data from the cradle to the grave (so to speak). The problem is that most integration platforms do not facilitate per-customer views of data and therefore it requires expensive customisation to deliver end-2-end auditing facilities. Cape Clear in conjunction with it's SaaS customer base has plugged this gap and now allows service providers to easily tag transactions, to segregate logging data, and to deliver customer specific reporting and monitoring.

You can read more high-level commentry in the press release, get a quick 5 minute demo or download to see for yourself.