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How does the ‘new world’ of Web services fit into ‘old world’ EAI? Very nicely, thank you, provided vendors and users alike keep Web services in perspective, and Web services standards and solutions continue to mature.

That was the consensus that emerged from the ebizQ webinar EAI Solutions For New Millennium Challenges, part of the Infrastructure Management: Strategies And Best Practices series, sponsored by Candle Corp.

“Web services are a way of making an EAI implementation snappier, more standards-based, and a little quicker to implement,” observed Candle Senior Solutions Architect Peter Rhys Jenkins. “What you’re doing is adding a veneer, a facade, on top of stuff that already exists.”

The European Chair of the EAI Industry Consortium (EAIIC), Steve Craggs, said Web services should be part of an overall EAI strategy, and labeled a “myth” the notion being pushed by some vendors that Web services replace the need for EAI: “That’s completely untrue. If I were you, I would just laugh heartily when someone says that. Web services are definitely a valuable tool within an EAI solution, but not a complete replacement. If you look at them as a complete replacement, you’re going to get burned.”

Craggs traced the beginnings of EAI to the emergence in the early ’90s of Message Oriented Middleware (MOM), whose asynchronous nature he called “absolutely vital in terms of mapping business processes.” MOM is also connection-independent and works on multiple platforms.

Craggs noted that IBM’s WebSphere MQ has virtually corned the MOM market over the last five-to-six years, capturing a whopping 80 percent share with its guaranteed, once-only delivery and high degree of scalability.

IBM Development Technical Architect Anthony O’Dowd added that a key MQ asset is its simplicity, which he said leads directly to another MQ plus, its versatility. What’s more, said O’Dowd, MQ is transactional, meaning “you can do real business with it,” and it’s reliable and secure.

Into that world, insert service oriented architectures (SOAs) which, Craggs reminded viewers, have been around for two decades but are only now coming into vogue with the help of Web services.


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