Instead of having employees logging in, or dialing in, to find out what's happening in key applications, why not have the applications, in effect, dial the employees and alert them to the changes?
Mir3 Inc., a San Diego, Calif., software vendor, plans to release at the end of August an application that's designed to do just that. Using its own message broker, Mirlogic monitors and intercepts the output of enterprise applications, such as net monitoring, workflow, customer relationship management, call center software, and so on. Then its rules application sorts out to whom, and when, to route the new information. That's especially good news for mobile workers, who get only the data that is relevant to them.
What makes Mirlogic different from a range of rivals, like Tibco and other middleware and applications vendors, is that Mir3 engineers designed it to handle almost any kind of connection and application.
"We don't require enterprises to buy new devices, or make changes their backend applications," says Vali Nasr, Mir3 executive vice president. "We can exploit the existing workflow, helpdesk, network management and other applications."
Mirlogic complements these applications. "The tasks of notifying people and taking action [based on alerts] has been added into these products later, not designed in," says Mark Harvey, a senior systems engineer with Mir3. "We plug into them and enhance their functions by letting them communicate with each other and with users."
That communication is made possible using the third component of Mirlogic - the Virtual Declarative Interface, which is an XML gateway. Mir3 has created specific interfaces for a wide range of third-party applications, which then can pass e-mails, messages or other communications to the Mirlogic software. The gateway is set up to handle identify users and client devices.
Another part of Mirlogic is the Command Delivery Engine. Typically, the program uses TCP/IP to connect to the client devices, pass along the notification from the original application, and monitor and maintain the connection.
An unnamed New York investment bank has Mirlogic running in a test, says Nasr. Net executives at the bank reported that the Simple Network Management Protocol links together homegrown management applications with BMC Software Inc.'s Patrol, Tivoli systems Inc.'s management console, and the CiscoWorks software. But SNMP will often drop data because it doesn't map well between the data formats and input-output requirements of different applications, Nasr says. In addition, some of the third-party applications support only one-way communications, sometimes limited to specific client devices.
The bank is using Mirlogic to sift through the numerous alarms that can be triggered when a server goes down, passing just the needed ones to specific end users and other applications, via a guaranteed messaging system.
Mirlogic is written in Java, and runs on Windows NT/2000, Linux, and Solaris. Pricing can range from US$60,000 to $360,00, depending on the number of third-party interfaces selected, and the number of servers on which the software is deployed. Mir3 has been testing what it calls version 1.0 with two customers. When released at the end of August, Mirlogic will carry a version 2.1 label.