I have been working with our Research and BPM Incubation teams on getting some of our BPM functions hosted on the Web. One reason for doing this is to make it simpler for customers to get into BPM without a huge investment. A key enabling technology that makes this possible is RESTful SOA. Jerry Cuomo talked about this extensively in his blog and interview with InfoQ and provided a very good direction on where we are going.
Today you can get pretty useful content from services outside the Enterprise such as getting the RSS feeds for stock or commodity price, traffic or weather. You can assemble them into interesting applications using Mashup tools. Serena calls these applications Consumer mashups and Data mashups. Now think about how you can also unleash some of your Enterprise SOA assets to the Web and allow the business users to compose their business applications. New interesting applications can then emerge from services that are available from both inside and outside the Enterprise.
To help you unleash some of your Enterprise SOA assets, Mihnea Galeteanu and Eugene Kharlamov wrote an article to show how to enable your SCA components to export HTTP bindings so that they can be callable via REST. Through the use of HTTP Data Bindings, you can now serialize and deserialize a business object to and from the HTTP body. This is a very neat capability because it can enable your AJAX client to pass JSON to a business object that is used by any SCA component such as BPEL and Business Rules.
If you are using WebSphere Business Monitor for your BAM solution, you can also use REST to get to your BAM data. WebSphere Business Monitor exposes its metadata such as the list of deployed monitor models, their KPIs, and the monitored metrics via a set of REST Services. Through these URIs, you can use other clients such as an Excel spreadsheet or a Google widget to get access to your BAM data and use them in the context of your business applications.
Last but not least, the WebSphere MQ team has also created the WebSphere MQ Bridge for HTTP that allows a client application to exchange messages with WebSphere MQ from any platform or language without the need for a WebSphere MQ client. This enables business users to access WebSphere MQ with no MQ skills. They can simply use a Web application or write a script to post a message to MQ to trigger an enterprise level application or event.
As we go forward in 2008, you will be able to access more and more of our BPM platform via REST. The WebSphere Process Server, WebSphere Business Services Fabric, FileNet, and Project Zero teams are all working on exposing RESTful interfaces. Make a wishlist for the business applications that you want your LOB to assemble themselves without IT involvement, share it with us. If we understand your popular scenarios, they may actually come true...[Read More]