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Casestudy: Composite Application Development at Safeco

by Floyd Marinescu on May 31, 2007 |
Safeco is an Insurance company, headquartered in Seattle which provides auto, homeowners and small-business policies. In early 2006, Safeco initiated the development of a Service Oriented Architecture to support the business in two strategic areas: new product development and business process improvements. The task of supporting these teams from an IT perspective was challenging because new products, solutions and improvements are often specified without consideration for department or system boundaries. Furthermore, Safeco needed to improve significantly our response time to deliver solutions in order to meet market and financial goals, while lowering our implementation costs.

The development team at Safeco got together to write a case study about their experiences applying SOA and how they used enabling technologies SCA, BPEL, and composite application approaches to reuse legacy code, enable runtime modifiability thanks to decoupling, Java and .NET interoperability, and the ability to deliver a complex solution integrating over 5 systems in less than 8 weeks with a small team.

Read Case Study: Composite Applications at Safeco.

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Java != SCA and JBI was before WCF by Gregor Rosenauer

Some misconceptions I noticed on a quick glance at the article: In the Java-world, the Java Business Integration specification exists in a final version since August 2005 with several open-source and commercial implementations available along with more and more support by vendors of middleware integration solutions.
SCA was developed by BEA and IBM and only recently handed over to an open standards body (OASIS). There is only one open implementation available which is still in its infancy.
Microsoft was rather late, introducing WCF with .NET 3.0 and there is still much uncertainty and doubt around this framework.
Each of these specifications has its merits and drawbacks, but in your case, JBI would have been worth a look, as your infrastructure is missing exactly those things that JBI already provides by default ("Future Directions"). Maybe you should have also invited a consultant from Sun (I don't work for them, just like open and proven standards).

Re: Java != SCA and JBI was before WCF by Jean-Jacques Dubray

WCF was first announced in 2003 and most of its programming model revealed in 2004.

JBI is merely a belated attempt to standardize integration infrastructure of integration platform of the 90s (java.sun.com/integration/pa1/docs/introduction/...). It is based on a very old "hub & spoke" pattern and requires that the NMR be at the center of the university. It does not even support composition between JBI infrastructures !! So if by any chance two JBI infrastructure made it to your organization, you are on your own to make sure that a binding component in one can talk to a binding component in another or leverage a service engine from one into the other.

It is misleading to associate JBI with SOA. Can I use a JBI infrastructure to expose services? Yes, just like a gazillion technologies that act as a service container. Should I construct my SOA infrastructure on JBI? Hell no.

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