The GreenVulcano Enterprise Service Bus continues to evolve and this time it does start from the name. GAIA, an ancient term for ultra-modern software. And a thought goes to Asimov and his planet “Gaia”: like our ESB, an integrated ecosystem, in perfect balance and in continuous communication between its parts.

BRAND

  • NAMING

The naming GAIA was born from the desire and the attempt to identify a unique, simple and especially coherent name with the classicism and the Made in Italy soul of GreenVulcano products.

During brainstorming, our SVP & CoFounder Gianfranco Iannello told us about Asimov’s stories, in which Gaia is a planet equipped with an ecosystem in perfect balance: “On Gaia every element has its own awareness that makes it autonomous and at the same time constantly connecting with the other components“.

This continuous contact makes it possible to smooth out the contrasts that sometimes arise between the elements in favor of the entire community.

The term GAIA is also synonymous with Gea – the Earth – a unified system. In this sense, the capability of GreenVulcano’s ESB to place itself in perfect symbiosis and unique synchrony with anyone who comes into contact with it offers the image of a single, compact and cohesive organism, despite connections and internal relationships.

The balance and harmony of the ecosystem interpreted in its entirety (Gea)  are therefore the results of the integration of autonomous systems in contrast (of programming language or protocols) favored by GAIA.

  • ACRONYM

The naming GAIA has a further meaning that we have identified in the acronym with the aim of “telling” the product by adding information in relation to the perceived own naming and trying to maintain continuity with the past: GreenVulcano Advanced Integration Architecture.

The focus was on the term “Integration“: intense expertise and product’s core. We defined “Advanced” integration to suggest an upgrade from the past and emphasize a higher quality standard than the market average. The term “Architecture” was instead used to express the idea that the product is only the foundation for a complex corporate IT system –  the backbone of the infrastructure.

  • LOGO

Once we found the agreement between the technical and commercial souls of the company on the story to be transmitted than we focused on the creation of the logo with a clear mission: to realize an original, simple and recognizable logo, which was at the same time coherent with the Corporate Identity and in harmony with product features.

The spherical form is a clear reference to the planet Gea-Gaia that wants suggest the “universality” of integration and the GAIA’s ability to integrate communication with any external component.

The result is an extremely fluid flow of data information. The numerous connections represented within the sphere – combined with the choice of a rounded font – emphasize this concept.

The red color is a visible chromatic reference – especially for long-standing partners – to the triad of colors that characterizes the GreenVulcano logo. The colors of this triad are individually associated with a product.

A BRIEF HISTORY OF OUR ESB: GAIA YESTERDAY, TODAY AND TOMORROW

The concept of Enterprise Service Bus was born and developed at the beginning of new millennium as a response to the needs of users to have immediate access to all the functions which can be provided by applications and services inside or outside the company.

  • FROM VERSION 1.0 TO 2.0

GreenVulcano’s first ESB software was based on the concepts and models described by Gregor Hohpe and Bobby Woolf in the essay “Enterprise Integration Patterns“, considered a milestone for the design of integration solutions.

They were characterized by a strong centralization of the system; a monolithic architecture developed and distributed as a single entity – usable only locally – which necessarily involved heavy installation. Also, the only way to be able to scale a monolithic application was to replicate the entire application with a consequent increase in costs and necessary resources.

  • 3.0

The beginning of cloud computing and service-oriented architecture (SOA) has made it necessary to develop a more advanced and functional version of the new integration methods.

GreenVulcano ESB 3.0 is a software Java-based with a highly customizable multi-layer architecture created specifically to support complex SOA architecture. This version was created to meet the needs of breaking down monolithic applications into a series of distinct services able to communicate with each other on the network.

  • GAIA

Market Dynamics and the evolution of integration processes that have determined the development of the ESB 4.0 version, called GAIA, are described directly through the words of our Senior Developer Rocco Lagrotteria: “The need for further granularity and operational flexibility has given rise to the approach based on microservices. This model offers greater scalability and customization, allowing complex applications to be “unpacked” into smaller, more targeted components.

GAIA is based on a modular structure that allows to support architecture in microservices.

This means that it is possible to install exclusively the modules necessary for the operation of the single-use cases.

FUTURE DIRECTION

Our CTO Mario Stefanutti told us about the possible future direction of software. In fact – simultaneously with architectural evolution – “From the language’s point of view – Java 11 replaced the previous Java 8 based version and in close future, it is likely that GraalVM will replace the current Java platform in order to improve performance and offer more functionality.

The challenges related to application integration have remained substantially the same, but the way we solve them has changed. In the future, to improve the usability of services, channel/consumer communications, in GAIA, will increasingly take place through API and will go towards the development of cloud native software with Docker and Kubernetes in order to guarantee a massive scalability of microservices”.

Aware of the challenges that the future market will reserve us and strengthen of past experiences, we are ready today – enriched in name and functionality – to offer you the best solution to integration problems.

Contact us to discover all the advantages and benefits that GAIA can bring to your company.

Nowadays customers have a wide range of computer tools. This great variety of systems, enhanced by the continuous development of increasingly innovative software, makes the process of data synchronization, among  different applications, extremely difficult.

SYSTEM INTEGRATION

Given this variety it is absolutely advisable to work on system integration.

System integration is the process by which various IT systems and software applications function as a unified, coordinated and cooperating system.
The advantages of this kind of integration are multiple, both for the customer and for the company: an improved  information flow, an increase in the product quality and on overall company performances. Together those benefits also allow to reduce costs and improve business efficiency.

POINT-TO-POINT INTEGRATION

The first phase of integration evolution, in chronological order, coincides with the model known as point-to-point.

It is an integration that involves only two systems. Since this is a rather subtle integration, some theorists disagree with considering it as system because it lacks the typical complexity of systems. The point-to-point model is a rather simple integration that involves connecting only two systems. It is through this model that much more complex systems are built of off. 

STAR INTEGRATION

Since the Star integration adopts the structure of the point-to-point model, it also inherits all of its flaws. For example with the increase of the elements involved, it tends to become more and more  chaotic. For this reason, this type of integration is also called “spaghetti integration“.

VERTICAL INTEGRATION

The model that partially solves the problems of the two previous integrations is vertical integration: here systems are put into communication according to their functionalities, creating functional entities called silos. If a new functionality has to be added, it is  necessary to create a new silo. This strategy can be suitable for companies with complex vertical infrastructures.

ENTERPRISE SERVICE BUS (ESB)

The integration that best expresses the concept of System integration is the horizontal integration in which a layer is used as a common interface between all the components. This layer is nothing more than an ESB architecture. The term Enterprise Service Bus was coined by Gartner in 2002.

In every company there are a plurality of systems and services, each with its usefulness. But if each service were to be integrated from time to time with all the new services used in the company, how many additions should we create? And would its cost be sustainable by the company?

An ESB software offers the huge advantage to  provide a unique integration for each system. ESB is capable of integrating disparate systems, connecting heterogeneous technologies and consistently providing coordination services, access security, messaging, intelligent routing, acting as a computer backbone through which all the software services and application components can travel.

ESB’s INSTALLATION MANNERS

ESB is installable through three different ways:

  1. on-premise
  2. cloud
  3. hybrid-cloud.

ON-PREMISE

The on-premise solution guarantees exclusive control over systems, data, internal management of sensitive and core data. It is a solution to be preferred in case direct data management is fundamental for business policies and in case it is necessary for the organization to be geographically localized.

CLOUD

The cloud solution ensures scalability, reliability and, above all, a quick service delivery. In fact with mobile access you can connect to data at any time, through any device

As regards the safety of the system, data and networks are protected with always backup services as well as specific security protocols to protect the integrity and confidentiality of data.

HYBRID-CLOUD

However, the storage of sensitive cloud data is often a cause of concern for companies. An excellent solution to these difficulties is offered by hybrid integration; sensitive data remain at headquarters, while non-sensitive data can remain in the cloud, offering companies the opportunity to segregate and track movements. Companies therefore decide which data to store in the cloud and which in the local.

ESB: AN OLD NEW INTEGRATION

Despite this distinction, it is necessary to specify that originally the ESB was only applied locally. The natural consequence, enhanced by the urgent need to integrate applications and on-premise data with cloud applications and data, was the identification of the ESB as a passed software that should leave the step to iPaaS solutions (integration platform as a service). However, a good software is programmed to respond to the need for updating and renewal and so we have come to the development of software, such as the GreenVulcano open source ESB, extremely lightweight that supports the APIs and integration platforms that connect to the systems legacy.

The development of software that cross the traditional approach of the SOA architecture, interpreting in an innovative way the integration of business applications (EAI), has given new life to a software wrongly defined obsolete.

ESB (2.0) is able to meet today’s needs of high flexibility, maintaining the reliability of traditional systems. In this perspective, the future of ESB seems to be positively comforting.

ASK US FOR MORE INFORMATION!

GreenVulcano 4, the latest evolution of our enterprise service bus designed to go beyond the traditional approach on SOA architecture by innovatively interpreting the (EAI ) enterprise application integration to meet today’s requirements for high flexibility but with the robustness and reliability of the systems traditional.

  1. Speed, in all phases of the life cycle, from development to provisioning up to operations, to respond in the best possible way to the changing needs of the market;
  2. Economics, limiting infrastructure costs, thanks to the possibility of being used both on the on-demand cloud and on commodity hardware, thus also reducing the considerable software license costs;
  3. Flexibility, modularity and polymorphism, which guarantee the ability to cover needs that are not yet born and we can not foresee, changing its own structure without design from scratch.

 

Enterprise service bus | what’s this

Intrinsically, the enterprise service bus is a mechanism in which a bidirectional interface from connected systems is always provided. This means that all source and destination systems must be connected to the ESB and that the applications themselves communicate by sending messages on the bus.

An enterprise service bus is, therefore, a bus on which messages between integrated entities travel.

However, one should not think of the BUS as a mere intermediary structure, since it is possible to modify the messages by intervening in the logic of the software.

 

ESB GreenVulcano: a use case

To better understand the strength of an ESB, let’s analyze its implementation.

Suppose we have a business model according to which, a series of stores that operate on behalf of the shop, are periodically supplied from a single warehouse, all respecting the following logic:

  1. When the goods arrive at each store, the ERP system must be updated
  2. The cashier who sells the single item of clothing sends information to the ERP system via the App. The status of the garment is updated to “sold”.
  3. The cashier or Sales manager sends via the App the eventual return of the garment that a customer has returned to him, for the issue of a Credit Note
  4. A night batch issues an invoice for each store on daily sales
  5. The payment system sends the request for SDD (Sepa Direct Debit) to Banca Sella. Invoice in “paid” status. Once the payment has been received by the Bank, the invoice is set as “paid”.

As you can see there are several systems and components that cooperate with each other in a reality that we can define as integration platform: the ERP system, the web services displayed by the bank, the application that updates the ERP system for each sale of a garment, the insertion of data that takes place through the NFC reading of the various items, can in fact use protocols and different programming languages.

The enterprise service bus connects the various applications with which it interfaces.

If every service were to have a communication interface for every other service, how many interfaces should we create?

Here, therefore, that each system should have a single interface to the ESB, as can be seen in the figure below.

 

Scalability of an ESB

Imagine the example illustrated above, in a context without ESB: if each component must be able to interact with all the other components, no more than 16 interfaces would be needed, but 56!

Any change to a component could result in the modification of all the interfaces of those components with which it interacts: you can imagine the time that each update needs.

The use of an ESB is therefore the winning choice, as we can well understand how such an architecture can be scaled in terms of components, allowing a very large number.

 

 

 

Enterprise service bus architecture

The SOA (service-oriented architecture) used by Greenvulcano, as the acronym suggests itself, is a service-based architecture: in fact, we have the requests for services, and on another level, we have the actual services called up and connected by means of a BUS. The OSGI specifications implemented in Greenvulcano therefore allow the development of a component platform. These components or applications, available as bundles for distribution, can be installed, started, stopped, updated and uninstalled remotely without requiring the restart of the ESB that is deployed on the Karaf container.

The services or components within Greenvulcano, can be either strongly decoupled, think about the case in which a feature can be associated with a single service, or we can have a workflow of services (that is, multiple services performed sequentially). The enterprise service bus integrates and orchestrates all this.

Enterprise service bus | characteristics

The main features of Greenvulcano will be described below

  • Running on the Karaf container for greater lightness: this also allows you to load new configurations and hot features without having to reload and deploy the application in full.
  • Integration between different applications with different technologies such as JMS, Web Services, JDBC, HTTP and more
  • A visual development environment (developer studio): this allows you to develop some services in a simple and intuitive way or a workflow of several concatenated services. See our tutorial and find out how easy it is to create an event-driven push notification.
  • A monitoring dashboard that allows you to deploy services
  • High reliability, security and scalability
  • Use of Java 8 and OSGI 6.