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Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Move Over, EAI - Move In Web Services

eWeek writes,"Web services continue making headway in the enterprise, particularly as integration solutions, where many believe Web services will lead to cost savings and efficiencies over older, more established technologies such as EAI". An Evans Data Corp survey released earlier this month reported that 40 percent of the developers surveyed said they believe Web services will reduce the need for enterprise application integration. Sixty percent said they believe Web services can significantly or somewhat lower the costs of EAI systems. Excerpts from the Findings Summary,based on survey among developers:

- "EAI used to be a big-budget project that required the building of an entire middleware layer of composite applications that replicated legacy processes. With the standardization that Web Services brings, applications can be linked with fewer lines of code, and often within a much shorter time frame,and the savings potential of Web Services is enormous."

- The top three types of services being developed for Web Services are: Business process management; Data management, cleansing and synchronization tools; and e-commerce applications.

-Third party consulting usage to help with Web Services projects is limited. The Web Services areas in need of the most third party consulting help are: Security; Design and Development; and Interfacing to legacy systems.

-Web service development budgets are growing. By next year one of five Web Services developers expect to be devoting most of their IT budgets to Web Services initiatives.
eWeek reports that the trend isn't stopping such companies as Iona Technologiesone of the last traditional EAI vendors. It recently signed a deal with Deutsche Post AG on what is said to be one of the largest integration projects in the world. Deutsche Post, over the past two years, acquired DHL International Ltd. and Airborne Express Inc. and must integrate the companies' IT systems. It is building an SOA (service-oriented architecture) using Iona's Artix ESB (Enterprise Service Bus) as the core. Iona officials said traditional EAI is not the only solution for integration projects, but the company is preserving its EAI roots. Eric Newcomer, Iona's chief technology officer, said the traditional EAI is moving to SOAs and adds that the ability to deploy and manage integration capacity at the endpoints, rather than within the hub, is a big reason for this transition. IBM is also seeing a dramatic uptake in customers using Web services to create a flexible architecture that can address a wider range of business problems at a faster clip than proprietary EAI technologies," said Michael Liebow, vice president of Web services at IBM Global Services. "The traditional proprietary EAI model as we know it is dead and is giving way to service-oriented architectures—leveraging Web services and other open standards—that help customers create a more flexible IT system that maps more closely with business processes and adapts to rapidly changing business conditions". The transition would take place over time and EAI vendors feel that given their current levels of functional maturity, Web services still are not capable of meeting the broad array of interoperability requirements that are addressed by EAI.

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