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July 12, 2005

JBI for document oriented integration?

Filed under: architecture,integration,webarch,webservices — Mark Baker @ 3:07 pm

When it was first announced last month, I had a quick look at JBI to see if they were making some of the same problems I perceived in the architecture of Web services. I caught a glimpse of figure 3 in section 4.1 where it describes a WSDL-based RPC messaging model, and immediately concluded it was misdirected.

The next week at JavaOne, I ran into Mark Hapner, and we had a talk about SOA, document orientation, REST, and JBI. It was a long, in-depth, thought-provoking talk that left me realizing, amoung other things, that this guy really gets document orientation. I’m not sure he fully appreciates the relationship of it to REST, but he completely understands what it means to do distributed computing with documents. As we were wrapping up, he surprised me by saying that JBI was developed, at least in part, with document oriented and RESTful uses in mind, and that he’d be interested in my thoughts on it. So, hear I am, having a deeper look into JBI.

Ok, so having read pretty much the whole thing (minus the APIs and management stuff), I’m not seeing the document orientation friendliness in JBI at all. The container architecture seems reasonable and could support it, but as it also supports the WSDL messaging model – in my opinion, an anathema to integration – perhaps it suffers from the far too common problem of trying to be all things to all people.

I guess I’m with Don Box on this;

I’ve always believed that the Java folks found the sweet spot with the Servlet+JDBC combination back in the 1990’s

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