IBM Integration Bus introduction

You can use IBM® Integration Bus to connect applications together, regardless of the message formats or protocols that they support.

This connectivity means that your diverse applications can interact and exchange data with other applications in a flexible, dynamic, and extensible infrastructure. IBM Integration Bus routes, transforms, and enriches messages from one location to any other location:

  • The product supports a wide range of protocols: WebSphere® MQ, JMS 1.1 and 2.0, HTTP and HTTPS, web services (SOAP and REST), File, Enterprise Information Systems (including SAP and Siebel), and TCP/IP.
  • It supports a broad range of data formats: binary formats (C and COBOL), XML, and industry standards (including SWIFT, EDI, and HIPAA). You can also define your own data formats.
  • It supports many operations, including routing, transforming, filtering, enriching, monitoring, distribution, collection, correlation, and detection.

Your interactions with IBM Integration Bus can be considered in two broad categories:

  • Application development, test, and deployment. You can use one or more of the supplied options to program your applications:
    • Patterns provide reusable solutions that encapsulate a tested approach to solving a common architecture, design, or deployment task in a particular context. You can use them unchanged or modify them to suit your own requirements.
    • Message flows describe your application connectivity logic, which defines the exact path that your data takes in the integration node, and therefore the processing that is applied to it by the message nodes in that flow.
    • Message nodes encapsulate required integration logic, which operates on your data when it is processed through your integration node.
    • Message trees describe data in an efficient, format independent way. You can examine and modify the contents of message trees in many of the nodes that are provided, and you can supply additional nodes to your own design.
    • You can implement transformations by using graphical mapping, Java™, ESQL, and XSL, and can make your choice based on the skills of your workforce without having to provide retraining.
  • Operational management and performance. IBM Integration Bus includes the following features and functionality, which support the operation and performance of your deployment:
    • An extensive range of administration and systems management options for developed solutions.
    • Support for a wide range of operating system and hardware platforms.
    • A scalable, highly performing architecture, based on requirements from traditional transaction processing environments.
    • Tight integration with software products, from IBM and other vendors, that provide related management and connectivity services.

    IBM Integration Bus is available in several modes, so that you can purchase a solution that meets your requirements. For more information, see Operation modes.

Application development

Your message processing applications, which you can run on more than 30 industry platforms, can connect to the integration node by using one of the supported protocols already listed. Platforms from IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and others are supported.

Diverse applications can exchange information in widely differing formats, with integration nodes handling the processing required for the information to arrive in the right place in the correct format, according to the rules that you have defined. The applications need only to understand their own formats and protocols, and not standards used by the applications to which they are connected.

Applications also have much greater flexibility in selecting which messages they want to receive, because you can apply filters to control the messages that are made available to them.

IBM Integration Bus provides a framework that contains a wide variety of supplied, basic, functions along with user-defined enhancements, to enable rapid construction and modification of message processing rules.

Your applications can be integrated by providing message and data transformations in a single place, the integration node. This integration helps to reduce the cost of application upgrades and modifications. You can extend your systems to reach your suppliers and customers, by meeting their interface requirements within your integration nodes. This ability can help you to improve the quality of your interactions, and allow you to respond more quickly to changing or additional requirements.

Messages are manipulated according to the rules that you define by using the IBM Integration Toolkit.

Operational management

IBM Integration Bus supports a choice of interfaces for operation and administration of your integration nodes:

  • The IBM Integration Toolkit.
  • The web user interface, which you can use to administer your integration nodes.
  • Applications that use the IBM Integration API.
  • A comprehensive set of commands, which you can run interactively or by using scripts.
  • The Representational State Transfer API (REST) allows development of administrative applications without the need to install client software and web browsers can administer integration nodes through a user interface.

IBM Integration Bus is complemented by a wide variety of other IBM products such as WebSphere MQ, Tivoli® Composite Application Manager for SOA, WebSphere Service Registry and Repository (WSRR), WebSphere Process Server, and WebSphere Transformation Extender (WTX).