Nexaweb: Blending the Best of SOA, Web 2.0

Nexaweb Technologies, an innovator in the emerging Enterprise 2.0 space, recently launched a new program for blending Enterprise Web 2.0 and SOA. Called Web2SOA, the program aims to give architects and devs the tools and techniques they need to speed up delivery of cool, reliable, valuable and governable Enterprise Web 2.0 and SOA apps. IDN takes a look with Nexaweb's Chief Architect

Tags: Enterprise, Applications, Developers, Nexaweb, Ajax, SOA, Architecture,

Nexaweb Technologies, an innovator in the emerging Enterprise 2.0 space, has unveiled a new program for blending Enterprise Web 2.0 and SOA. Called Web2SOA, the program designed to help customers capitalize on their SOA initiatives by delivering rich, reliable and governable Enterprise Web 2.0 and SOA apps.

GartnerGroup recently found 25% of companies were using Web 2.0-style services, and of that group almost half (47%) are conducting some type of enterprise 'mash-up' project. "Because the movement of Web 2.0 technologies into the enterprise is inevitable, IT organizations must take an active role in the strategy and execution of Enterprise Web 2.0 (EW2.0) implementations," Gartner's report stated.

Enter Nexaweb's Web2SOA Program.
Nexweb CEO Chris Heidelberger said the Web2SOA Program "is designed to ensure that as customers…can quickly and easily leverage existing and future elements of their SOA initiative in the process."

Components of Nexaweb's Web2SOA Program, based on Nexaweb's Enterprise Web 2.0 Platform, encompasses a full life-cycle of blending the best of SOA architectural best practices and deployment of innovative and productive Web 2.0 techniques. In specific, Nexaweb's Web2SOA supports: Governance; Infrastructure; Service Composition; Orchestration; Testing; Tooling; System Integration;

Bob Buffone, Chief Architect at Nexaweb described the problem set the Web2SOA program is attacking this way: "For enterprises and partners, simple consumption of services isn't enough. They need a complete strategy that embraces all aspects of their SOA initiative and squeezes every last bit of ROI out of their application infrastructure. Too many vendors have claimed to sit at the middle of the SOA universe, and customers are confused. The purpose of our program is to simplify the SOA puzzle and enable customers to quickly deploy Enterprise Web 2.0 and Service-Oriented Business Applications that positively impact productivity from the design level to end-users."

IDN speaks more in-depth with Buffone to learn more about the convergence of SOA and Web 2.0.

Integration Developer News interview with
Bob Buffone, Chief Architect,
Nexaweb Technologies Inc.

TOPIC: Web 20-SOA Use Cases
IDN: What are some early common Use Cases that illustrate the marriage of SOA and Web 2.0?

Buffone: Nexaweb has seen several use cases in the enterprise, which are leading people to tie SOA and Web 2.0 together.

The first being the need to modernize legacy systems and deliver them in a zero-install web-based environment. Most existing applications have not been built around services and require an install application, both of which constrain IT organizations ability to keep up with demand for adding new features and products. Nexaweb deals with customers all the time that are trying to build, deploy and maintain applications with limited or offshore resources. Using Nexaweb has reduced maintenance cost by over 50% in every deployment.

The second use case is around composite applications. As enterprises grow, experience M&A and evolve, they typically accumulate several stovepipe applications that a knowledge worker needs to use in order to perform a process. Because of this, the knowledge worker needs to know several different applications with different interfaces and enter data multiple times. All of these things result in reduction in worker performance. Building a composite application where the user can complete a process in a single application that can transfer data from step-to-step in the overall process, results in higher productivity.

Whatever the use case, one common theme among all enterprises is they are look for the classic win-win-win solutions where: IT can build applications quicker, cheaper, better - Users can be more productive, all of which results in increased RIO on investment. Nexaweb offers enterprises a four win scenario because our product can be used across the organization as a reference architecture for creating applications, resulting in even higher ROI.

TOPIC: Nexaweb's Enterprise Web 2.0 Features
IDN: Nexaweb late last year shipped a major upgrade to its Enterprise Web 2.0 platform. What infrastructure-to-client support features have proven most popular?

Buffone First, let em share a brief overview of Nexaweb's Enterprise Web 2.0. It is a comprehensive application development and deployment framework for building RIA, composite, and 'mashup' applications. With Nexaweb, enterprise development teams can quickly and easily design, QA, deploy, and maintain Ajax and Java UI applications that deliver legacy, service-oriented, and third-party data in real-time to end users via the Web.

And because application development is done in a unified declarative XML development environment (Eclipse-based IDE), it doesn't require re-writing code. Nexaweb's Enterprise Web 2.0 framework is backed by an established methodology and reference architecture proven by more than 5,000 successful global deployments, [so these applications] are 50% faster to develop, more scalable, reliable, portable and easier to deploy.

Nexaweb's last product release focused on two major areas of application development:

  • Inclusion of Ajax support within our Universal Client Framework (UCF) - Since inception, Nexaweb has been on a mission to deliver a complete platform for building applications in any technology and deploy them in a Browser, Desktop, JVM, and Mobile. Using the Nexaweb Universal Client Framework, developers can now build applications with the richness of a desktop application in a browser without the need of a plug-in. For applications that need to include the performance a JIT compiler offers, Nexaweb's UCF can leverage the JVM to host the application, increasing data display capabilities.

  • Shipment of the Enterprise Data Services - Nexaweb has always allowed developers to create applications, which integrate with SOA and Data using standard J2EE patterns. Now developers can declaratively create connections to Web Services and databases and bind that directly into the User Interface without any coding. This process of declarative binding of services reduces the time and skills needed to build end-to-end applications.

  • Nexaweb development model is Markup (XML UI) + POJO (Plain Old Java/JavaScript Object); this means developers can come up to speed quickly and start developing applications. The last product shipment solidified the offering by creating end-to-end application development and deploying it however the product requires.

    To see more on Nexaweb, see a video or review some ROI stats.

    TOPIC: Tying Clients to Architecture for Web 2.0
    IDN: What are some emerging ways where you see client-side devs working with infrastructure architects/developers to design, test and implement these Enterprise Web 2.0 apps?

    Buffone Enterprise Web 2.0 has created a new synergy between the client-side developers and service providers. Not only can the client-side team quickly build an application that leverages services, the client-side developers can themselves deliver services by creating a service enabled widget that can be reused across applications. The re-use across applications of these widgets can be governed by the same systems that SOA has in place.

    TOPIC: Emerging Web 2.0 Blueprints
    IDN: Does Nexaweb see emerging blueprints of templates for achieving this frontend-to-backend projects?

    Buffone Nexaweb's blueprint is to create applications that can be consumed in many different applications' containers using a single code base. This allows developers to create re-usable components that can be rolled into an overall reference architecture for the entire enterprise.

    TOPIC: Avoid Mistakes
    IDN: Can Nexaweb offer any advice on how to avoid "common mistakes" architects or devs face when building these enterprise-caliber Web 2.0 or Enterprise 2.0 apps?

    Buffone Scalability - Ajax is pulling Web 2.0 into the enterprise through under-the-radar projects that leverage Ajax to create some quick applications.

    These applications and developers are then working to help spread Ajax throughout the organization. The problem is that Ajax and many Ajax vendors don't work well in large-scale applications. This is a problem that we see all the time. Enterprise A selects Vendor B or uses Ajax Project C, it works OK at first but try to build a big application, handling lots of data or put the application under load and it falls apart.

    TOPIC: Avoid Ajax 'Hazards'
    IDN: Certainly, many bloggers and news stories have increasingly documented that Ajax can be a tricky technology for enterprise IT to implement correctly?

    Buffone The problem isn't Ajax's fault; it's that [Ajax] is being used incorrectly. Ajax can meet the need of many applications in an enterprise, but it can't do everything, no matter what the vendor tells you. Nexaweb avoids this problem by providing enterprises with a Universal Client Framework that can deliver Ajax where Ajax is best and deliver applications in a JVM when the users needs more capabilities such as offline access, lots of data or complex and dynamic workflow.

    Security - You need to think up front about security and not as an after thought. If there is a resource that can be exploited, people will exploit it. This is a universal truth, so go into a project knowing it and work to avoid any issues. Ajax in of itself doesn't add security risks that haven't been there for 10 years, it just increases the attack surface.

    Nexaweb works to create an environment that provides a secure container for applications. This is done by creating communication between client and server and is managed by checking unique session IDs for all requests, which prevents Ajax hijacking. Any consumption of services is done through the Nexaweb server and allows developers to add data verification, validation and identity management.

    Business logic that is downloaded to the client runs in a secure container that prevents malicious code execution.

    TOPIC: Nexweb Support for End-to-End Web 2.0 Apps
    IDN: So, let's get specific. What features does Nexaweb offer to support end-to-end integration projects between rich clients and backend resources such as J2EE, .NET, SQL/XML data or even mainframes?

    Buffone Our Enterprise Data Services is a fully extensible framework that can be used by developers to create adapters into any back-end resources. Out-of-the-box developers can leverage J2EE, .NET, WSDL and databases using our declarative services connectors to bind data into the user interface.

    Enterprises that already have existing resources written in J2EE or .NET can leverage those directly in building Nexaweb applications. Nexaweb can even be used to enhance certain problem areas of an existing application without the need to re-write the complete application.

    The application stack you want to use to build an application is up to you. Nexaweb architecture has been constructed to impose as few restrictions on developers as possible from a technology perspective.

    TOPIC: The Next Web 2.0/Enterprise 2.0 'Killer App'
    IDN: What's in Nexaweb's crystal ball for the next set of Enterprise Web 2.0 "killer apps" for government or business? What will create the next big Web 2.0 buzz by yearend or early 2008?

    Buffone Time Magazine said that 2006 was the Year of "You" - then 2007 will be the year of "Us", collaboration and service enablement of the user will allow people to work together more effectively, increasing productivity of everyone. "Resistance is Futile. You will be Web 2.0 enabled."

    Robert Buffone, Chief Architect, is responsible for platforms and tools at Nexaweb. Before Nexaweb, he was with Trakus, a technology company for tracking sports in real-time. Buffone possesses deep experience and knowledge regarding Java and Windows technologies, is a leading expert in User Interface design and has received many awards for his outstanding work in the software industry. Along with speaking at leading industry events, including JavaOne and EclipseCon, he has published several articles on various topics, including tool and application development.