Hydra is designed to facilitate the distribution of business processes within an application, enabling developers to address service-oriented and parallel-processing development challenges while capitalizing on existing software assets.
In essence, Hydra enables SOA processes to run in parallel using parallel-processing technology, said Rogue Wave President Cory Isaacson.
Isaacson said Rogue Waves use of what it calls Software Pipelines is based on design patterns that are in turn based on real-world experience. He said the Pipelines technology allows for efficient execution and distribution of software components or services for simultaneous processing on available resources.
As such, this peer-to-peer architecture minimizes bottlenecks and allows businesses to achieve new levels of throughput and performance, Isaacson said.
Mike Stolz, chief architect of debt technology at Merrill Lynch & Co. and a member of a panel at the Hydra launch event here, said that while he was not speaking for Merrill Lynch, his experience has led him to believe that performance is a key issue in the SOA world.
Tom Gibbs, director of worldwide strategy and planning in Intels Solutions Market Development Group, said the problems of performance in SOA can be overcome with software like Hydra, as well as with processing power.
"There is stuff out there to process XML at wire speed," said Gibbs, in New York. "The performance challenges are going to be overcomeable. ... [Rogue Waves Hydra] is one of the applications we think will help people move into distributed computing in the next level in the enterprise."
Seven beta implementations of Hydra are under way with POC (proof-of-concept) customers in the financial services, telecommunications and software industries.
Integrating disparate pieces and reusing components is one draw of SOA. "We had a lot of different applications, each taking care of its own piece of the system," said Aviral Singh, in New York, a director at Credit Suisse. "People needed to talk to each other, and this was done point to point without any management."
However, the implementation of an SOA environment helped eliminate those issues, Singh said.
Meanwhile, in the world of SOA, standards are both boon and bane. One attendee, who requested anonymity, said that while SOA works, "all these standards are making things too complex for the ordinary person."
Dana Gardner, president and founder of Interarbor Solutions, in Gilford, N.H., agrees, to a point. "A lot of standards are de facto, and we need to lay down the law and say this is the standard," Gardner said. "Open source could come forward and take over."
Moreover, the ability to stitch things together is one of the strengths of SOA, panelists said. In that regard, the SOA market is not one where one-stop shopping is particularly suitable, some said. "SOA lets you do best of breed; theres no one-stop shop," said Gibbs. "SOA lets you optimize at the component level."
However, IBM recently made a soup-to-nuts announcement regarding SOA components and services, including 11 new products and more than 20 upgrades to existing products and services. BEA Systems, Oracle, JBoss (now part of Red Hat) and Sun Microsystems also promote a full SOA stack.
"The whole point of SOA is it enables a best-of-breed kind of buy," Isaacson said. "The large vendors do want to be ubiquitous, but their offerings are not strong across the board."
Rogue Waves Hydra supports the recently released SCA (Service Component Architecture) specification that was proposed by IBM, BEA, Oracle, Iona Technologies and others. And Isaacson said Hydra is the first production-ready, high-performance SOA development framework and run-time that supports and complements key concepts of SCA.
Gardner said: "The ability to take [SCA] into the role of coalescing Java and C++ components into the same service—all tightly coupled—is an important milestone for making SOA mission critical."
SOA runs fast, thanks to Rogue Waves Hydra
- Hydra is a distributed SOA framework based on the SCA approach proposed by BEA, IBM, Oracle, SAP, Iona and others
- Uses Software Pipelines to make SOA processes run in parallel using parallel-processing technology
- Major Wall Street investment companies rely on Rogue Waves software to help run mission-critical business systems
- Rogue Wave Hydra IDE (integrated development environment) is based on the Eclipse open-source IDE
- Hydra features cross-language support and coalesces Java and C++ components into the same Web service
- Key customer markets include financial services, telecommunications and independent software companies
Source: eWEEK reporting