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Tibco Offers A Way To Deploy Quick, 'Tactical' SOAs

PortalBuilder 5.0 minimizes custom coding and makes it possible to connect new Web services to legacy systems and packaged applications.

One way for an enterprise to implement a service-oriented architecture is by building many software services that can be delivered via a shared Web portal.

Such an approach will not solve all issues surrounding SOAs, but it is a way to get to a "tactical" or quickly assembled services delivery mechanism, deferring some of the harder integration problems for later. Integration vendor Tibco Software Inc. unveiled PortalBuilder 5.0 Wednesday for producing services-oriented portals.

In September, Tibco debuted its Ajax-based General Interface Builder 3.0 for producing Web applications that allow more user interactions with the Web server than typical pages and forms-based HTML applications. Ajax combines simple Web technologies, such as XML and JavaScript, to allow users to download data and work with it or respond to a set of choices by dragging and dropping a listed response.

PortalBuilder 5.0 beefs up the server side of that interaction, and makes the portal an easier-to-manage host for multiple software services. As such, it can serve as the cornerstone for a tactical services-oriented architecture, says Aiaz Kazi, Tibco general manager for business integration.

The new PortalBuilder release minimizes custom coding by invoking standards-based underlying software to perform many functions. For example, PortalBuilder will handle connections to a database server that provides information needed by a service, or invoke a servlet engine that runs a set of Java commands to accomplish a business function through the portal.

PortalBuilder 5.0 also allows a new service to connect to Tibco middleware and, through it, legacy systems and packaged applications that may be needed to make the service work.

Such a portal approach deploys a services-oriented architecture without an enterprise service bus. An ESB would be needed with more advanced SOA approaches as a way to get applications to interact and function as a composite application, no matter where they resided on the network, says Kazi.

Tibco PortalBuilder 5.0 is priced at $200,000 per production server.

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