IBM Moves into Enterprise Application Integration

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IBM Moves into Enterprise Application Integration
M. Reed - April 26th, 2000

Event Summary

"SOMERS, N.Y.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--April 2000--IBM announced new software that helps companies integrate their IT infrastructures so they can transform into e-businesses.

Business integration, or enterprise application integration (EAI), is required for companies that want to engage in corporate mergers and acquisitions, electronic commerce, and business-to-business (B2B) partnerships. Companies are integrating and automating their business processes to increase efficiency, maintain competitive advantage, and strengthen customer relationships.

A new version of IBM's MQSeries(a) Integrator software helps companies streamline their business-to-consumer, business-to-business, and application-to-application computing environments regardless of platform or geography. MQSeries Integrator Version 2 links, integrates and automates companies' IT infrastructures quickly and easily.

The new software strengthens IBM's leadership position in the burgeoning EAI market, which is expected to total $2.5 billion this year, according to Aberdeen Group.

British Telecom is using MQSeries Integrator Version 1, and beta testing MQSeries Integrator Version 2. "MQSeries Integrator Version 1 helps us transform legacy data so that it can be understood by other applications, this is very important for our company, it has saved us from having to do transformations manually," said Jon Calladine, Systems Interconnect Consultant, British Telecom. "We believe that the new tooling in MQSeries Integrator Version 2 will reduce the amount of hand coding required for transformations even further, making our IT architecture more flexible for future changes."

MQSeries Integrator Version 2 features a new visual tool that makes it easy for non-programmers to create business rules and transformations without writing complex code. This new tool provides a major advance in productivity, enabling companies to react quickly to change and opportunities.

"MQSeries Integrator already helps large companies integrate and transform into e-businesses," said Bill Reedy, Vice President of Marketing, Business Integration, IBM Software. "The new features we've announced today make it a lot easier and faster to implement changes."

MQSeries Integrator Version 2 also features new Extensible Markup Language (XML) support, making it possible for companies to automatically transform messages from existing applications into useable data for XML-based applications. The reverse is also true, MQSeries Integrator Version 2 can transform XML-formatted messages into useable data for existing applications.

MQSeries Integrator Version 2 builds on the power of MQSeries Integrator Version 1. MQSeries Integrator Version 1 - which was developed by IBM and NEON together - is completely upward compatible. MQSeries Integrator Version 2 is an extension of IBM and NEON's partnership.

"By working together, NEON and IBM are creating the gorilla of e-business integration", said Rick Adam, CEO of NEON, IBM's development partner for MQSeries Integrator Version 2. "Most market researchers have us 1-2 or 2-1 in market share."

MQSeries Integrator Version 2 will provide the integration capabilities for IBM's recently announced WebSphere B2B Integrator software, which helps businesses quickly connect to customers, suppliers, business partners, and e-marketplaces. WebSphere B2B Integrator is also built on IBM's WebSphere application server, and XML technology for the exchange of e-contracts called tpaML.

WebSphere B2B Integrator complements offerings from IBM business partners. For example, in November 1999, IBM announced an agreement to resell and market Extricity's AllianceSeries B2B e-commerce software.

IBM made several other MQSeries family-related announcements this month. A new stand-alone adapter offering, MQSeries Adapter Offering Version 1, complements adapter offerings provided by IBM business partners. New support for HTTP helps MQSeries data pass through firewalls more effectively, and new platform support for MQSeries allows companies to integrate more applications on new platforms.

A Bigger Role for the Industry's Leading Message Broker MQSeries Integrator Version 2 was designed to be an open framework that combines the hub-based rules and formatting capabilities of MQSeries Integrator Version 1 - created by NEON and IBM - with a new architecture based on processor nodes. A built-in library of processing components can be linked with those from third-party software vendors, enabling the exploitation of enterprise resources to achieve business integration.

Graphical tools allow visual representation of processor nodes and the connections between them, making it easy to define how business events and critical data are handled. The sequence in which the functions are processed dynamically manipulates and routes messages. Further it can combine them with data from corporate databases, warehouse messages for auditing and analysis, and also distribute information efficiently to subscribing applications.

Fully utilizing and complying with such industry standards as Structured Query Language (SQL) and XML, MQSeries Integrator Version 2, compatible with the MQSeries based publish/subscribe functions allows users to define message formats through a message dictionary - either the one supplied with MQSeries Integrator, or by a third party. Subscribers can register their interest based on topic and content of messages. Security is also enhanced with multiple levels of authorization.

MQSeries Integrator Version 2 is available immediately on the Windows NT platform. Pricing varies, starting at $100,000 (U.S.). Other platforms including Sun Solaris and AIX will become available later this year."

Market Impact

IBM will be a strong competitor in the Enterprise Application Integration market. Message Oriented Middleware (MOM) is a crucial component of EAI, and IBM's MQSeries is the strongest product offering in the MOM arena. This gives IBM a strong leg up on the competition. In addition, their partnerships with NEON and Extricity make this product offering a powerful contender.

Any software that reduces the necessity for custom programming at the middleware layer will be well received by customers. In addition, the presence of XML support, additional security layers, and publish/subscribe capabilities are going to give IBM immediate presence in the EAI market.

User Recommendations

Customers evaluating Enterprise Application Integration solutions should include IBM's MQSeries Integrator Version 2 on a short list of candidates. However, if UNIX platform support is required, they should delay the decision until the product comes into general availability. Support for the product on Windows NT is available now. Reference sites using the product in production should be contacted before any decision is made.

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