CPortals Technologies Aims for the Middle
Technologies, a privately funded company based in Norwood, Massachusetts,
has developed a product called InteBroker, which is designed to provide
message brokering via publish/subscribe and store & forward/point to point
messaging technologies. CPortals delivers a development toolkit for building
publisher, subscriber, and database synchronization adapters using any
ODBC or JDBC compliant database.
InteBroker server has been benchmarked in one test at a throughput rate
of 3,800 100-byte messages per second. They have based their technology
on the assumptions that businesses, particularly in the e-commerce space,
will have to re-invent themselves regularly, and that reducing complexity
in the solution is a key to success.
of their design principles is that inter-process communications should
use a common, reliable asynchronous communications model, based on George
White's (Vice President and CTO) experiences at the Boston Stock Exchange,
where downtime in enterprise systems is unacceptable (and very expensive).
He developed a database to maintain information on the "state of the infrastructure"
to provide the business with details on the gestalt of the trading engine
for the exchange. CPortals Technologies has also taken pains to make sure
that their applications scale beyond the level currently expected in the
key, according to Mr. White, is the "publish every event" model. The recovery
server application can be run on any node, and acts as a universal subscriber.
Republication by another node in the event of a failure on the recovery
server, will occur in the order received by the universal subscriber,
and will return the data marts to the current state. The product is based
on a Java Virtual Machine, and uses IP Multicast for dynamic discovery,
so a second server can take over if the first one fails.
major verticals that are currently being pursued by the company are finance
The need for this type of middleware is becoming very obvious. The players
who are first into the market will find great success with products of
this type. The hard part is going to be developing a methodology that
is truly "out of the box" and allows the customer quick time to market.
CPortals seems to understand that fast turnaround and flexibility/agility
in the software design will allow for a competitive edge and a distinctive
competence. We believe that they are correct in this area, but their newness
to the market and lack of brand recognition will require some extra effort.
Companies in need of application integration technologies should include
CPortals Technologies on a long list of vendors to be considered to provide
a solution. The assumptions CPortals has made about the importance of
data elements, the volatility of e-businesses, the lack of business rules
documentation, and other factors, is a strong argument towards this type
the complexity of distributed systems is a compelling message, but CPortals
will have to deal with many much more established players, such as Informix/Ardent,
Informatica, Business Objects, and others. Customers should insist on
a contractual timeframe for delivery of a solution, and seek reference
sites (preferably in their vertical market space), which have been successful
with the product suite.