Building on the Services Bus

Cape Clear 6 brings BPEL orchestration to its ESB suite

With the release of Cape Clear 6.0, Cape Clear Software rounds out its offering in the ESB (enterprise service bus) arena -- the emerging class of middleware steering EAI toward more flexible and affordable service-oriented approaches -- with the addition of a process orchestration engine. Using BPEL (business process execution language) to describe processes and interactions, the orchestration engine gives companies the capability to weave multiple services into workflows with partners.

Cape Clear’s new Orchestration Studio, an Eclipse-based BPEL development environment, is reminiscent of the IBM studio I worked with last summer. In my early testing, the graphical interface and development wizards have made quick work of knitting together services. Wizards for descriptor construction also made it easy to implement Cape Clear’s newly added WS-ReliableMessaging support for guaranteed once-and-only-once message delivery.

In addition to components for process orchestration, the suite includes an integration server, good facilities for data transformation, and beefed up support for persisting business data over long-running processes. However, one thing Cape Clear 6.0 doesn’t include is a core messaging backbone. Instead, Cape Clear provides an over-layer to J2EE/JMS application and messaging infrastructures from BEA Systems, IBM, and others (as well as messaging support for Sonic and Tibco). This is a key differentiator between Cape Clear and competing ESB vendors, and potentially a key shortcoming, depending upon your requirements.

Nevertheless, Cape Clear is emerging as an important player in the still-developing ESB market. We’ll see how its product stacks up against the rest in an upcoming roundup.

Cape Clear6.0
Cape Clear Software
Cost: Starts at $10,000 per server
Available: Now

Copyright © 2005 IDG Communications, Inc.