By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2005-02-14 Print this article Print

Systinet Server 5.5 provides strong Web services management and security capabilities. The product makes it possible for businesses to greatly increase the scalability and reliability of Web services by integrating them with enterprise-class, message-oriented middleware.

Using the Web services platform provided by Systinet Corp., eWEEK Labs could take diverse, inherently insecure Web services and increase their security, manageability and delivery options, then tie them into our messaging platform.

For this review, we tested Systinet Server for IBM WebSphere MQ 5.5, released in December. Systinet provides versions of the server that support other messaging systems as well as Systinet Server for Java, which works with standard Java Message Service servers.

Systinet has been a leader in securing and managing Web services, and the security and management features in Systinet Server 5.5 are as solid as ever.

In addition, as in previous Systinet Server releases, Version 5.5 provides comprehensive support for nearly every important Web services standard. The product also supports many additional Web services specifications and protocols. Among these is support for the vendor-backed WS-ReliableMessaging, which helps Web services tie into messaging systems and makes it possible to create Web services using a standards-based approach to guarantee Web services delivery to endpoints.

Click here to read about four new Web services standards. Version 5.5 has support for content-based routing, which enabled us to use XPath (XML Path Language) filters to create highly customizable Web services that deliver specialized content to subscribers based on unique information.

With this release, Systinet Server now runs on Linux, Unix and Windows and supports most major database servers and application servers. Systinet Server for IBM WebSphere MQ must be installed on the same system as WebSphere MQ.

Pricing for Systinet Server for IBM WebSphere MQ ranges from $8,000 to $35,000 per CPU.

The main benefits of integrating a Web services architecture with a messaging system are the ability to leverage the reliability of messaging queues and guarantee that Web services are delivered to endpoint subscribers.

Because Systinet Server is based entirely on XML and Web standards, experienced Web services developers will have little trouble using the system. In tests, we had no problems using any kind of Web service.

The product includes a very good browser-based administration console from which we could perform tasks such as defining security settings, creating routing rules, publishing services, and creating gateways to connect our services and messaging system.

Once we had created our gateways, we could define contracts for required message formats or interfaces for our Web services. These contracts could be defined as XML Schema or WSDL (Web Services Description Language).

One of the most significant new features in Version 5.5 is support for content-based routing. In the traditional Web services model, a client subscribes to a Web service and receives it no matter what. With content-based routing and subscriptions, whether and how a service is delivered and received is based on the content of the service. This makes it possible, for example, for a sales-based service to deliver only certain regional information to specific subscribers.

Implementing content-based routing meant using a simple XPath filter to define the content, then using the administration interface to define routing. The default installation of Systinet Server for IBM WebSphere MQ includes preconfigured content-based routing gateways, which made it much easier to get up and running.

Another new feature in this release is a GUI tool for mapping XML files to perform XSLT (Extensible Stylesheet Language Transformations). This is a fairly easy-to-use tool that gets the job done, although it isnt among the best mapping tools weve seen.

Systinet Server for IBM WebSphere MQ 5.5 enables companies to use whichever Web service development environment they prefer.

Systinet does not include any full development environment of its own, but the product does have several command-line tools that assist with Web services development and deployment.

Also, Systinet does offer a development environment for Eclipse, called the Systinet Developer, which can be downloaded from the Systinet Web site and used for free.

Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at jim_rapoza@ziffdavis.com.

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in Web services.

Jim Rapoza, Chief Technology Analyst, eWEEK.For nearly fifteen years, Jim Rapoza has evaluated products and technologies in almost every technology category for eWEEK. Mr RapozaÔÇÖs current technology focus is on all categories of emerging information technology though he continues to focus on core technology areas that include: content management systems, portal applications, Web publishing tools and security. Mr. Rapoza has coordinated several evaluations at enterprise organizations, including USA Today and The Prudential, to measure the capability of products and services under real-world conditions and against real-world criteria. Jim Rapoza's award-winning weekly column, Tech Directions, delves into all areas of technologies and the challenges of managing and deploying technology today.

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