XML meets MQSeries
Noting that IBM’s MQSeries messaging middleware still performs a lot of heavy lifting for the world’s largest corporations, Eugene Kuznetsov has been looking to build a smoother, faster connection between MQ and Web services.
"We think it’s absolutely critical and it’s very important to do it right," said Kuznetsov, chairman and CTO of DataPower Technology Inc. (www.datapower.com), a Cambridge, Mass. maker of XML networking firmware.
The growing application of XML Web services created a need to integrate and connect MQ-based systems across the corporate firewall, across the Internet to business units and business partners, he said.
"That’s a difficult thing to do using the MQ protocol," Kuznetsov told XML Report, noting that IT departments that tried it were discovering that it is not easy to make MQ securely available over the Internet.
"They’ve got a way to talk to their partners using Web services, but they now need to connect to the back-end systems, so there’s this impedance mismatch between the SOAP over HTTP and SOAP and XML messages over MQ," he explained.
The problem was how to handle Web services requests coming in over the Internet as HTTP that need to connect to an internal MQ-based system.
Kuznetsov is addressing the problem with the release this week of version 2.3 of firmware for the DataPower XS40 XML Security Gateway and the DataPower XA35 XML Accelerator. These products include what he said is the first WebSphere MQ series protocol support in a network device.
"Adding MQ protocol support to our network devices makes it possible to have one of our gateways sit there and accept SOAP messages securely over the Internet as HTTP for example, do all the necessary firewall and filtering and put it directly into the queue that is powering the internal system," he explained. "Once it shows up in the queue, it’s already known as secure. The message itself may be digitally signed or encrypted and it goes and gets processed in the normal fashion. So we cut out intermediate devices, intermediate software gateways, reduce latency, which is very important to users of MQSeries, for financial transactions especially, and we’ve made them secure."
In terms of what he refers to as "doing it right," Kuznetsov noted that DataPower licensed MQSeries technology from IBM for inclusion in the new firmware product to help assure compatibility.
Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.