Why an Appliance for B2B - IBM Websphere

As organizations move to an on demand business by implementing a service-oriented architecture (SOA), the largest barriers continue to be implementation complexity, cost-prohibitive scalability, and data security. To recognize improved time to value, companies are looking for opportunities to consolidate functions into single purpose-built solutions that provide exceptional performance, easy deployment, ease of use, and a low total cost of ownership.

Business processes extend across the supply chain and value chains on a global basis, and companies depend upon trading partners to run their businesses smoothly. Processes and rules change constantly, and you must quickly disseminate these changes to your trading partners. To keep pace, it is crucial that you strengthen your trading-partner relationships through tighter automated integration, so that you can make your trading partners anextension of your enterprise.

The global economy, large outsourcing initiatives, and the virtual supply chain have blurred the boundaries of the enterprise and the distinction between public and private processes. As a result, internal application-to-application(A2A)and external business-to-business(B2B) technologies are converging. Many enterprises are seeking a single business integration platform to meet all of their internal and external messaging needs to reduce duplication of effort and to increase the speed of “externalizing” internal processes. The appliance model enables strong B2B business value by accelerating the pace of innovative value-creating processes and strategic initiatives. You can utilize B2B services to quickly and securely connect to your external partners and integrate the partner connections to your application integration flows, all in a purpose-built hardware solution.

To take advantage of the improved business processes, flexibility, and IT efficiency that come with moving to B2B Appliances, organizations require pervasive, salable services and controls, robust security, and high service assurances in their infrastructures. Today, enterprises often find themselves struggling to deliver these critical requirements without having to handle prohibitive costs, complexity, and hard-to-manage infrastructures.

Addressing these challenges requires a pragmatic approach, one that simultaneously recognizes the evolution of standards, the value of existing infrastructure investments, your organizational challenges, and how performance can be affected across applications.

SOA appliances simplify SOA deployment

By integrating many core functions required for adopting B2B, SOA, or Web services into a single, purpose-built device with enterprise service bus (ESB) capability, WebSphere Data Power B2B Appliance XB60 simplifies an overall B2B/SOA infrastructure. It is designed to deploy easily into an existing environment as an inline network device. You gain business value without having to change your network or application software. As a result, proprietary schemas, coding, or application programming interfaces (APIs) are not required to install or manage the device.

Drop-in integration for heterogeneous environments

As a core offering in the IBM B2B and ESB product portfolio, WebSphere DataPower B2B Appliance XB60 is a purpose-built hardware B2B-enabled ESB for simplified deployment and hardened security with the ability to quickly transform data between a wide variety of formats, including XML, industry standards, and custom formats. The device provides core B2B functions, including AS2 and AS3 messaging, partner profile administration, routing of electronic data interchange (EDI), XML, and binary payloads, auto archiving and purging of B2B transactions, and B2B transaction viewing capabilities. The ESB functions include routing, bridging, transformation, and event handling. It provides a reliable, performance-oriented solution to many integration challenges.

Because it is not limited to handling just XML, WebSphere DataPower B2B Appliance XB60 resonates with IT organizations that need to benefit from the connectivity of SOA deployments but must also deal with managing a combination of multiple proprietary, industry, company-specific, and existing data formats. The device is a true drop-in B2B integration point for such environments, reducing the time and cost of integrations and speeding the time to market for services.

Innovative enablement of existing infrastructure for XML and Web services

For accelerated, security-rich integration capabilities, WebSphere DataPower B2B Appliance XB60 provides transport mediation, routing, and transformations among binary, text, and XML message formats. Visual tools can be used to describe data formats, create mappings between different formats, and define message flows. With native connectivity to IBM DB2® and IBM System z® technology, the device offers an innovative solution for security-rich XML enablement of existing systems and mainframe connectivity.

Policy-driven approach to Web services management and SOA governance

By centralizing management tasks and policy enforcement for Web services and decoupling them from applications, your SOA infrastructure increases in flexibility and scalability while simultaneously offering you improved insight, visibility, and control. By moving certain functions onto WebSphere DataPower B2B Appliance XB60 (such as protocol bridging, AS2/AS3 message processing, profile management, Web services management, security processing, and policy enforcement), IT architects, operations, security personnel, and business personnel can decouple these functions from core business applications. This capability helps to simplify development, deployment, and manageability.

Integration with registry and repository, security, identity, and service management software

WebSphere DataPower B2B Appliance XB60 integrates with a variety of registry and repository, security, identity, and service management software. Coupled with access-control software, such as IBM Tivoli® Access Manager, the device enforces fine-grained access controls. Working with IBM Tivoli Federated Identity Manager, the device provides federated identity and policy management for Web services between organizations and enterprises. Using a registry and repository, such as IBM WebSphere Services Registry and Repository, you can discover and reuse services and configure new services for policy and security enforcement performed by WebSphere DataPower B2B Appliance XB60. The combination of these applications and the robust XB60 security features provides the comprehensive capabilities for B2B/SOA security and Web services management that enterprises increasingly require.

Support for advanced Web services standards and interoperability

IBM recognizes that SOA must address the need to integrate heterogeneous environments both within and outside the enterprise. The WebSphere DataPower SOA appliance portfolio has a long-standing history of support for key and advanced standards, including WS-Security, WS-Policy, WS-Reliable Messaging, SOAP, Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM), WS-I Profiles, WS-Addressing, eXtensible Access Control Markup Language(XACML), Security Assertion Markup Language (SAML), Secure Socket Layer (SSL), and proprietary Single Sign-on (SSO) tokens. In addition, WebSphere DataPower SOA appliances support interoperability with Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) registries, and databases, such as Oracle® and Sybase.

IBM SOA Foundation for Smart SOA deployments integration

WebSphere DataPower B2B Appliance XB60 has broad and deep integration across the IBM SOA Foundation. As a result, it contributes to what IBM calls the Smart SOA approach, a set of guiding principles that benefit both business and IT, eliminating unnecessary complexity while building a strong foundation for future growth. Integration of WebSphere DataPower B2B Appliance XB60 with popular integrated development environments, such as the IBM Rational® portfolio, reduces the time that you have to spend in development anddebugging.

In addition to interoperability, the device also features deep integration with products, such as IBM WebSphere MQ, IBM WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus, IBM WebSphere Message Broker, and IBM DB2 to help process SOA transactions in a faster, more secure, and simplified way. Additionally, the XB60 enables you to take advantage of IBM self-management capabilities for autonomic computing, creating infrastructures that require minimal intervention, which can help lower cost of ownership and improve service availability.

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