Vendors Push Apps Integration for E-Business

SAN MATEO (04/03/2000) - WITH ANNOUNCEMENTS this week, IBM Corp., New Era of Networks (Neon), and Vitria Technology will give further blessing to the shift under way in the EAI (enterprise application integration) market from a back-end legacy systems focus to a full-fledged embrace of Internet business-to-business commerce.

With an eye on e-commerce, IBM will be adding publish/subscribe technology to the MQSeries Integrator (MQSI), Version 2.0, product that it developed with Neon, said Bill Reedy, IBM's vice president of marketing, business integration, in Somers, N.Y. Available since 1998, MQSI combines IBM's MQSeries messaging middleware with Neon's EAI rules and formatting engines.

"What we're adding is tooling, a publish/subscribe model, a common repository, and XML support," Reedy said. These new capabilities will underscore MQSI's role as a common messaging link for e-business.

Support for the Windows NT environment will be coming this month to be followed in June with a version for Sun Solaris customers, Reedy said.

General availability of the MQSI upgrade has been delayed because IBM needed to expand the scope of the offering, said Mike Gilpin, a middleware analyst at Giga Information Group, in Cambridge, Mass. The IBM vision last June "was somewhat less ambitious" regarding b-to-b than what will be delivered, Gilpin said. In particular, MQSeries supports HTTP, "a realization of what actually is required for b-to-b," he said. IBM has also written a Java-based toolset for complex e-business applications.

With the new publish/subscribe capabilities, the MQSI upgrade could compete against Tibco Software's TIB/Rendezvous (TIB/RV) real-time, reliable multicasting middleware, but won't, Reedy said.

"We're not targeting that feed market," Reedy said, referring to Tibco's traditional base of major financial institutions that use TIB/RV for securities trading. "We believe pub/sub is not just an IP multicasting model," he said.

IBM will be focusing "more at the level where applications will talk to each other," Gilpin said.

However, Tibco and IBM are likely to consolidate their markets and try to entice each other's installed base with their respective middleware offerings, Gilpin said. Both camps will need message queuing and multicasting technologies as they advance their b-to-b efforts. "I don't think you'll see Tibco customers yanked away by IBM or vice versa," he said.

Vitria Technology will be bolting XML support as well as a combined view of business processes and workflow with BusinessWare 3.0, debuting this week, said Alice Chou, a product marketing manager at Vitria.

"You get to see everything in one place -- even manual processes," Chou said.

Gilpin said Vitria's approach is more tightly integrated than other EAI/workflow offerings. The tighter integration promises ease of use and higher productivity, while the looser best-of-breed route offers more flexibility.

"There are advantages to each approach," he said.

IBM, in Armonk, N.Y., can be reached at www.ibm.com. Neon, in Englewood, Colo., can be reached at www.neonsoft.com. Vitria Technology, in Sunnyvale, Calif., can be reached at www.vitria.com.

Big Blue's MQSeries meets e-business

IBM adds the following features to its MQSeries Integrator, Version 2.0.

* IBM XML parsing technology added to transformation engine* App-to-app publish/subscribe support* Java-based toolkit for e-business projects* Messaging infrastructure changes

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