BQM Forum Demos at Sapphire

The Business Quality Messaging (BQM) Forum (www.bqm.org) began as an initiative to spur the development of a reliable messaging infrastructure for the distributed environments of the Internet age. The BQM Forum took a significant step toward realization of that goal when BQM representatives at the Sapphire ’98 user conference, hosted by SAP America Inc. (Wayne, Pa., www.sap.com), presented demonstrations of e-commerce applications connected to SAP enterprise resource planning software over the Internet using BQM technology.

The demonstrations featured BQM-compliant technology, including message queue servers such as the MQSeries from IBM Corp. and the Microsoft Message Queue Server.

The BQM Forum member list includes heavyweights like AT&T, Compaq Computer Corp., IBM, Intel Corp., Microsoft, and a number of messaging specialists such as The Mesa Group Inc. (Newton, Mass., www.mesa.com) and Redbox Technologies Inc. (Los Altos, Calif., www.redbox.com).

"At its core, it's really an effort to promote a concept of using message queuing to add reliability and create interoperability for all types of business apps," explains Bill Moroney, managing director of the BQM Forum. "It is definitely not standards-writing."

According to Steve Foote, vice president of research strategy with consultancy Hurwitz Group (Framingham, Mass.), it is often difficult to ensure reliable message or transaction delivery in complicated, three-tier ERP configurations, as transactions or messages often encounter a number of different network nodes and touch upon a variety of hardware devices in their movement.

BQM’s demo took center stage with a display of browser-based Internet commerce applications communicating with a back-end system based on the SAP R/3 ERP software suite. The demonstrations ran over BQM-enabled networks from AT&T and the IBM Global Network. BQM Forum members staged the demonstrations to display how the proposed BQM infrastructure can be used to establish mission-critical-grade connections among enterprise applications such as SAP R/3 across heterogeneous networks, including the Internet.

Another demonstration presented Trade'ex Procurement for the Enterprise, an Internet-based e-commerce application distributed by Trade’ex Electronic Commerce Systems Inc. (Tampa, Fla., www.tradeex.com). The application integrated with SAP R/3 via BQM-enabled applications, including File Transfer Facility for MQSeries (FTF/MQ) from MessageQuest Inc. (Tampa, Fla., www.messagequest.com) and a BQM-enabled version of IBM MQSeries Services.

Yet another demonstration leveraged Roma middleware technology from Candle Corp. (Santa Monica, Calif., www.candle.com) to integrate the SAP R/3 ERP software suite and Lotus Notes messaging and groupware product from Lotus Development Corp. over a BQM-enabled AT&T network.

According to Mark Smith, chairman of the BQM Forum, the recent presentations at Sapphire ’98 offer a proof-of-concept demonstration of applicability of BQM-certified software and hardware configurations for electronic commerce implementations. "As evidenced by these demonstrations, BQM is becoming an e-commerce solution," Smith contends. "These demonstrations mark the first time that mission-critical applications were connected via BQM, thus providing total end-to-end reliability."