MQSeries Enhancements Focus on System and Application Integration

Primed to take advantage of the ever-growing need to integrate disparate systems and applications, IBM has introduced an enhanced version of its MQSeries information infrastructure. This latest edition of the MQSeries family primarily addresses business integration, with particular emphasis on moving MQSeries from a proprietary platform for messaging to promote industry-standard messaging as well through the addition of support for eXtensible Markup Language (XML) and Java Messaging Services (JMS).

In addition to XML support, key enhancements to the MQSeries family include: new Java Application Programming Interfaces (APIs), for greater platform independence; MQSeries APIs; and new versions of MQSeries Integrator message broker and MQSeries Workflow.

As a package, MQSeries consists of: the MQSeries base product for enterprise messaging; MQSeries Integrator, the result of an IBM partnership with New Era of Networks Inc. (NEON; Englewood, Colo.) to provide the base message brokering capabilities; and MQSeries Workflow, which provides business process management capabilities on top of the MQSeries base.

Though the MQSeries family saw some basic enhancements in January of this year, the new set of improvements brings with them the promise of supporting heterogeneous connectivity between platforms and guaranteeing delivery of messages between applications, according to Bill Reedy, VP of transaction systems for IBM software solutions.

Application interoperability characteristics make MQSeries a good fit in the rapidly expanding enterprise application integration (EAI) market. "EAI is the response to the competitive dynamics of the world we live in," Reedy says. "It's a new phenomenon devised to accommodate industries that are forcing change on their IT departments. EAI is important because external market demands drive IT to reuse applications in new ways. New applications must be integrated with existing applications to gain competitive advantage."

According to IBM, EAI is the fastest growing portion of the middleware market, which includes messaging solutions such as MQSeries. EAI is expected to become a strategic initiative in between two and 2.5 billion business by 2002.

With this latest version of MQSeries, IBM extends its messaging capabilities to provide support for standards while maintaining the capacity to provide guaranteed message delivery, according to Reedy. In addition, IBM continues to enable the automation of legacy application integration with "the new world of XML-based definitions of messages and has extended the whole efficiency into a family of products that not only does messaging, but integration and business process management," he adds.

--L. Greenemeier