Hoping to add some muscle to its application-integration strategies, IBM last week rolled out a new version of its WebSphere MQ (message-queuing) product. The new version contains 150 technical improvements including enhanced support for creating an ESB (enterprise service bus), which can serve as a backbone to an SOA.
In Version 6.0 of WebSphere MQ, IBM for the first time is giving corporate and third-party developers the ability to create an ESB from a single Eclipse-based workbench. This capability makes it easier to combine new and existing heterogeneous assets within an SOA.
For instance, this added capability better ensures that as an organization integrates new Web services into its infrastructure, it will have more options at its disposal to extend an SOA to handle integrating new services more smoothly, company officials said.
"With 12,000 [WebSphere MQ] users, we are talking about 700 million instances of MQ out there. So with Version 6.0 you can now turn the switch on and have each of those instances become a service both sending and receiving. This is important when thinking about building an SOA," said Scott Cosby, IBM's program director of WebSphere business integration.
IBM expanded to 180 the number of platforms and other configurations WebSphere MQ supports with Version 6.0, and added support for a number of 64-bit OSes. It has integrated the product to work more closely with its CICS (Customer Information Control System) series on the back end and added integrated support for Microsoft's .Net environments, Cosby said.
IBM also has more tightly integrated Version 6.0 with the application infrastructure capabilities in the latest release of its CICS Transaction Server as well as the latest release of WebSphere Application Server Version 6.0 for its z/OS mainframe OS.
These integration features enable IT managers to configure and manage WebSphere MQ servers, as well as to administer a range of other integration and infrastructure software inside their organizations from a single console.
"We like the way WebSphere MQ has remained a highly reliable product as well as one that has evolved with our needs," said Tom Fox, assistant vice president and technology advisor at Wachovia. "New features, like being able to flow SOAP over MQ, tell us we can continue to depend on it as a core aspect of the bank's service-oriented architecture," he said.