Iona Artix 3.0

By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2005-06-13

Iona Artix 3.0

Artix 3.0, released in March, is such a massive and major revision of the product that Artix customers who make the upgrade may feel as if they are moving to a completely different product.

Click here to read the full review of Artix 3.0.


Artix 3.0, released in March, is such a massive and major revision of the product that Artix customers who make the upgrade may feel as if they are moving to a completely different product.

However, although these users will likely encounter retraining issues and problems with previous deployments, eWEEK Labs believes most will find the upgrade worth the effort, and companies beginning to examine SOAs should consider Artix 3.0.

Artix 3.0 has an overhauled design and development interface and wider support for application platforms, including Sun Microsystems Inc.s J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition) and Microsoft Corp.s .Net. Artix runs on Linux, Unix and Windows platforms, and a typical installation is priced starting at $10,000 per CPU.

Artix users starting the main Designer interface may be surprised by what they see, although this kind of interface is becoming more common in SOA and Web services authoring: As with similar products, Artix Designer is now based on the popular Eclipse development environment.

We found the new Designer interface to be very intuitive yet capable, making it surprisingly easy to create integration projects; create WSDL (Web Services Description Language) files; and define connection methodologies, protocols and transports. Artix Designer makes heavy use of FastTrack Wizards for most tasks. But unlike the wizards in most standard desktop user applications, Designers wizards are very advanced and never limited our options in defining Web services or applications. Designer includes very good code generators that enabled us to automatically create starter C++ and Java code from our WSDL files.

Version 3.0 of Artix also features greatly enhanced support for Java-based applications. A new J2EE Connector feature made it possible for us to expose our Web applications as Web services or connect the applications to Web services. Deploying the Artix connector to our application server was a simple task that any mildly experienced administrator should be able to handle. Out of the box, Artix 3.0 currently works only with JBoss Inc.s JBoss, BEA Systems Inc.s WebLogic and IBMs WebSphere.

Artix 3.0 addresses the major scalability and reliability issues of the previous releases. Version 3.0 runs as a container instead of a service, and it is now possible to run clusters of Artix deployments. We also appreciated that when an Artix service is shut down, it will now finish outstanding processes rather than interrupt them and leave them uncompleted.

A key part of any ESB architecture is what transport mechanisms it supports, and, for Artix, most of the usual suspects are supported. These include standard HTTP, IIOP (Internet Inter-ORB Protocol), SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) and JMS (Java Message Service), as well as the following messaging systems: BEAs Tuxedo, TIBCO Software Inc.s Rendezvous and IBMs WebSphere MQ.

Click here to read Labs review of Sonic Softwares Sonic Workbench 6.1.

Artix 3.0 includes a wide variety of updates to the products already-good Web services standards support. These include support for SwA (SOAP with Attachments) and better integrated UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) support.

Next page: Questions to ask.

Page Three

Questions to ask

  • Whose architecture are we talking about? Will the SOA solution work well with all your companys applications and systems, or is it tied in to another platform or product? Some SOAs are heavily based on a single vendors database, development platform or application server and could be too limiting for many companies.
  • Rewriting required? A good SOA should tie everything together and free your company from complex and restrictive proprietary solutions. Any SOA that requires you to rewrite existing applications and services probably isnt much of an SOA. All coding should be done on the integration and connection side of the SOA, not in the core functions of your applications.
  • Whats the connection? The SOA solution should allow you to deliver services and applications in whatever method is most appropriate, be it HTTP, messaging queues, SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) or whatever deployment protocol you need.
  • How do I manage? Theres no getting around the fact that an SOA is a complex proposition and one that gets more complex as it becomes more popular and successful. Does the SOA solution offer tools to track, analyze, manage, secure and scale your services?
  • Do standards rule? With their heavy reliance on Web services, SOAs are touched by standards in nearly every area. While complete compliance with all related standards isnt necessary (or even possible for most SOAs), you should make sure that the solution works well with all the standards that are key for your business.

    Source: eWEEK Labs reporting

    Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.

    Page Four

    Evaluation Shortlist

    Cape Clear Software Inc.s Cape Clear 6 This ESB offering directly competes with the Iona and Sonic products, providing good developer and BPM tools and strong standards support (

    Sonic Softwares Sonic Workbench 6.1 Like the SOA Suite it is based on, Workbench 6.1 combines Sonics many integration products to provide a complete, flexible SOA platform (

    Systinet Corp.s Systinet Server 5.5 A Web services management platform that integrates with middleware products to provide key SOA capabilities (

    Standard application servers, development tools and middleware platforms With the right kind of development and integration expertise, products such as those offered by leading vendors such as BEA Systems, IBM, Oracle, Sun Microsystems and WebMethods Inc. can be used to build a solid enterprise SOA

    Labs Director Jim Rapoza can be reached at

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