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BEA Tuxedo 9.0: A Platform for Extending Legacy Apps to SOA

It has been almost 22 years since AT&T’s Bell Laboratories spawned its first transaction processing monitor, technology that evolved into BEA’s Tuxedo system. Enhanced and extended over the years, Tuxedo grew into the de facto standard for open online transaction processing solutions.

With the release of Tuxedo 9.0, the fifth major release of the product, BEA is billing its TPM as a platform for extending legacy applications to services-oriented architectures.

“BEA Tuxedo has a strong presence in companies where mission-critical applications, transaction integrity and quality of service are of paramount importance,” says Shawn Willett, principal analyst at Current Analysis. “Now BEA is leading its Tuxedo-based applications into the world of service-oriented architectures at a pace that these customers are comfortable with and where there is minimal disruption to these important applications.”

Tuxedo was a cornerstone on which BEA built a billion-dollar application infrastructure middleware business, says George Gould, BEA’s director of business development. BEA’s founders recognized early on the importance of Tuxedo’s ability to provide infrastructure for traditional procedural languages, such as C, C++ and COBOL, Gould says.

“Certainly in most enterprises today there are initiatives based on J2EE and .NET,” Gould says. “But if you look deeper, there are a lot of COBOL developers out there, and many organizations are still using C++.”

Tuxedo supports ultra high-end applications—apps that run more than 5,000 transactions per second with more than 10,000 concurrent users. Tuxedo runs some of the largest, mission-critical transaction processing systems in the world, including wire transfers, ATMs and telecommunications billing systems. As the company puts it, “BEA is powering some of the world’s highest-volume, transactional applications that people interact with every day—every time a phone call is made, a credit card is processed, a package is shipped, an airline ticket is purchased and funds are wired between banks.”

A growing number of companies are facing the challenge of re-purposing these kinds of critical legacy applications and extending them to an SOA, Gould says.

“The question here is, how can you build end-to-end applications that take advantage of some components or core business logic written in procedural languages—like C, C++ and COBOL—that allow you to extend and use J2EE?” he says.

BEA’s answer is Tuxedo. BEA set its flagship TCM on the SOA path with the 8.1 release, which strengthened its integration with the WebLogic J2EE server through the WebLogic Service Tuxedo Connector. The WTC’s Java interface allows WebLogic developers to invoke Tuxedo services. And the company developed a control that is being shipped in its Workshop Java IDE.

Tuxedo 9.0 comes with new features and functions designed to increase extensibility, improve security and address quality-of-service issues, including:

  • Tighter integration with WebLogic Server via the WTC, which provides bi-directional, peer-to-peer, cross-platform interoperability with complete transaction and security propagation for data integrity
  • Integration with BEA’s AquaLogic Service Bus, (formerly known as Quicksilver). BEA claims that it’s the first product of its type to unify Enterprise Service Bus and Web Services management capabilities
  • Better support for XML, including an updated Xerces parser, XML-to-FML transformation services
  • BEA has started to build a framework for supporting Simple Object Access Protocol and Web Services stacks
  • A new Tuxedo Service Metadata Repository, which is designed to provide Tuxedo application developers and administrators the ability to store and retrieve detailed services parameter information on Tuxedo application services
  • New security plug-ins supporting Kerberos for single sign on and CERT-C Public Key Infrastructure with support for digital signatures
  • Performance enhancements, such as multithreaded domain gateway, designed to help increase the throughput of the WTC

For more information about BEA Tuxedo, go to: BEA Tuxedo.

About the Author

John K. Waters is a freelance writer based in Silicon Valley. He can be reached at john@watersworks.com.

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