Artix 4.0

 
 
By Jim Rapoza  |  Posted 2006-08-07
 
 
 

Artix 4.0


When we reviewed Iona Artix 3.0 a year ago, we said that it was such a massive upgrade over previous versions that users who chose to upgrade might feel like they were using a completely different product. Artix 4.0, released in April, isnt quite that big of an upgrade, although it does offer some fairly significant improvements over Version 3.0.



Click here to read the full review of Iona Artix 4.0.

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When we reviewed Iona Artix 3.0 a year ago, we said that it was such a massive upgrade over previous versions that users who chose to upgrade might feel like they were using a completely different product. Artix 4.0, released in April, isnt quite that big of an upgrade, although it does offer some fairly significant improvements over Version 3.0.

One of the biggest new features is Orchestration Designer, an Eclipse-based development environment for creating and deploying BPEL-based processes. However, somewhat strangely, this seemingly core functionality is not bundled with the standard Artix Designer and must be purchased and installed separately for $10,000.

Click here to read a review of Sonic ESB 7.0.

Still, once installed, Orchestration Designer worked well for creating and testing BPEL implementations. We didnt find it to be groundbreaking in any way, but this may be a strength, as it works and looks like pretty much every orchestration tool in every BPM product on the market (and, consequently, has a fairly low learning curve).

The main Artix Designer interface isnt much different from the development environment in Version 3.0 of Artix. That isnt a bad thing, as Version 3.0s interface was quite good. An integrated testing option has been added to make it simpler to test services through WSDL (Web Services Description Language).

With an Eclipse-everywhere philosophy, Artix now also bases its management console on Eclipse. Using this interface, we were able to access all of our containers and messaging options, but it was not the most user-friendly ESB management interface weve ever seen. Its possible that Eclipse is better suited for development than management.

Another big improvement in Artix 4.0—necessary to catch up with other ESBs—is the addition, by default, of the ActiveMQ open-source JMS.

Click here to read a review of Cape Clear ESB 6.6.

This means that users will no longer have to set up an additional JMS (although that is still an option), but can use ActiveMQ natively in Artix. Artix 4.0 also now does a better job of handling services using WS-Reliable Messaging.

Artix has broad database and operating system platform support, running on Linux, Unix and Windows servers. Theres also a version of Artix that runs on the z/OS. Iona Artix 4.0 starts at $10,000 per CPU; additional plug-ins cost $2,500 per CPU.

Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.

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BEA Softwares AquaLogic
Solid as an ESB but outstanding as an overall SOA and Web services management platform (www.bea.com)

Cape Clear Softwares Cape Clear ESB 6.6
This ESB offering provides good developer and BPM tools, as well as strong standards support (www.capeclear.com)

Iona Technologies Artix 4.0
An ESB platform that provides simple-to-use tool sets with powerful integration capabilities (www.iona.com)

Sonic Softwares Sonic ESB 7.0
The Sonic ESB platform defined the ESB category, and Version 7.0 is the most mature and capable ESB available; Sonic ESB, coupled with the Sonic SOA Suite, is a powerful services platform (www.sonicsoftware.com)

Sun Java ESB Suite
Not surprisingly, an ESB designed to work well in Suns Java Enterprise System (www.sun.com)

Standard application servers, development tools and middleware platforms

With the right kind of development and integration expertise, products from vendors such as IBM, Oracle, Sun and WebMethods can be used to build solid enterprise SOAs and ESBs

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

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