Middleware router to ease integration

Middleware that not only resolves disputes between legacy systems but removes the need for custom code design has the ability to re-invent the traditional processes an organization takes for enterprise application integration (EAI).

The Cast Iron Application Router promises to offer a simple, appliance-based approach to integration with the added benefit of reducing data centre complexities through sharing data between databases, enterprise applications, XML data sources and flat files.

Global Asset Systems' Gordon Anthony, reseller of Cast Iron products, said that until now, appliance functions have largely been limited to playing guardian, or support functions on the network edge.

"We are focused on building tools modelling complex business processes," Anthony said.

"The new wave of enterprise-ready appliances is taking over key elements of the data centre and offering businesses a significant opportunity to lower their costs while reducing the complexity of their data centre systems and strategies."

"Lots of organizations today are looking to standardise their applications-they may have SAP in one instance and JDEdwards in another and need to consolidate the information. Organizations are looking at simplifying everything and getting core applications communication with each other.

"In recent years, appliances for security, storage and routing have proliferated, creating a new and favourable mindset among CIOs and IT managers towards these low-cost, dedicated and purpose-built devices."

The router is designed to be simple and effective. It does not require additional hardware or software and can be simply plugged into a network, allowing the user to complete specific network configurations and then tailor the product to specific needs; the router natively supports most transports and protocols.

A main feature is the Message Definition Editor (MDE) that converts flat files (a text document without formatting structure) into XML schema documents that the router can use. Substitution data types can easily be used for any unsupported data.

The standard XML Schema, XSLT and Xpath features automatically produce an XML schema for each message it receives from or delivers to an end point.

A schema allows machine validation of a document structure and is the agreement on a common language for an application to exchange documents.

Anthony said there are three current drivers for enterprises to consider deploying an application router, the most important being the desire to simplify the delivery of core business applications, improve services across the network and reduce enterprise cost.

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