Enterprise Service Buses, or ESBs for short, provide a service-oriented approach to integrating applications via Web services. ESBs are usually comprised of a data adaptation layer, a message routing layer and a service composition layer that typically must be assembled together before the integration work can begin. For this reason, ESBs often prove both complex and costly to implement – especially on a project by project basis. As a result, organizations have turned to SOA Gateways as a lightweight alternative to traditional ESBs.
SOA Gateways offer a number of advantages over traditional ESBs. They are configured (not coded) making initial set-up for basic data adaptation, routing and transformation operations both straightforward and fast. SOA Gateways can be deployed as scalable, hardware-based appliances that leverage specialized silicon to ensure fast throughput and low latency, even when using performance-draining operations like signing, encryption and data transformation. Transformation capabilities can be applied to address a wide range of common enterprise data formats, including mainframe copybooks, as well as external formats ranging from EDI to REST. Many Gateways also come with integrated management and light-weight orchestration for simple business process workflow. And unlike traditional ESBs that require software to be deployed onto end-points, SOA Gateways reside outside of, or between applications simplifying deployment.
Layer 7 makes deploying SOA Gateways as lightweight ESBs straightforward and cost effective. Unlike other Gateway products, Layer 7 can be easily configured using a simple drag and drop graphical interface. It does not require extensive knowledge of arcane XSLT (or other programming languages) to support common ESB operations, thereby improving time to deployment while reducing overall project risk and cost. Supporting a diverse range of data, transport and identity types “out of the box”, the Layer 7 SOA Gateway can also be extended by customers or System Integrators through a Java SDK to address more specialized customer needs. Also, rather than dictating a “one size fits all” approach to deployments in Production, UAT and Development, Layer 7 offers the only SOA Gateway that can be implemented as a hardware-accelerated appliance, VMware-certified virtual appliance, or server software. Layer 7 also offers security-conscious customers a broad range of cryptographic functions (on hardware/software that is both FIPS 140-2 compliant and Common Criteria certified), identity capabilities (that can support both SAML and XACML) and message integrity operations – all bundled as standard product.