JBI- A Standard-based approach for SOA in JAVA

Submitted by Neal Lipkin

  The industry has witnessed the evolution of a wide range of solutions addressing the problem space of B2B and enterprise application integration (EAI). These solutions varied from proprietary message oriented middleware to standard JMS based solutions and web services. This paper provides a brief introduction to the upcoming JBI (Java Business Integration) standard in relation to SOA (service-oriented architecture) principles and the ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) infrastructure.

Service Oriented Architecture

SOA (service-oriented architecture) is one of the latest developments that have made a huge leap in the area of application and business integration. SOA defines a set of well-defined architectural principles, paradigms and best practices to enable loosely coupled interaction between applications.

SOA promotes loosely coupled interaction between participating applications based on well-defined interfaces. Service implementations are self-contained and don’t depend on the contextual information and state of other services. Service interactions are mainly based on exchanging document-style data, defined using a standards-based messaging model. The services themselves are agnostic to the transport level interactions required to enable the communication between the service provider and service consumer.

Even though not a mandatory requirement, most of the modern SOA based systems utilise web services and related technologies for providing the required plumbing for the interactions between services. WSDL (Web Services Definition Language) is used as the main artefact for representing messaging models; SOAP as the message representation protocol and HTTP as the wire-level transport protocol. This doesn’t mean you always need to use the aforementioned technologies for implementing systems based on service-oriented architecture. Lot of enterprises have used similar architectures for realising loosely coupled systems, well before any of these buzzwords came into existence. However, the key difference is that now we have standards-based protocols, toolsets and software for enabling service oriented architecture.

SOA principles are significantly different from object-oriented paradigms and principles. The key difference is that the interactions between services are defined using interfaces that are oriented more towards data than behaviour. A service in isolation may be realised using object-oriented principles and techniques, however, the interactions between the services seldom use any of these techniques. Rather, these interfaces are geared more towards term paper document-based interchanges. Where object-orientation binds behaviour closer to data, service-orientation decouples data from behaviour.

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