Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Weblogic - Aqualogic Service Bus - EAI - Part 1

This blog is to gather my learnings and understandings about Weblogic(WL)'s Aqualogic Service Bus (ALSB). Initially, i could not appreciate this awesome product from BEA. ALSB is meant mostly for Webservices and SOAP requests. I was trying to use these functionalities for normal GET and POST requests in RESTful services. Before we proceed further, lets look at some basic SOA jargons.

Service Bus:

Service Bus is considered as Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) tool, that would facilitate easy integration of various services (that are building blocks of any software system). This integration tool is created with various technologies that are opted for software middleware infrastructure. So, please note that ESB is not a programing language itself.

Also, ESB is NOT an app or web server. This is an application (could be web application) that runs in an web container. So, if you want to play with ALSB, you would need both WL server and ALSB. You could download trial version which you can use for 60days.

Basic Features of an ESB:

1. Loose coupling of services in a software system. This would provide great flexibility of modifying / enhancing any part of the system without affecting much on the other dependents.

2. ESB should be standard based and flexible, and should support many transport mediums like Messaging Service, SOAP, XML and text etc.

3. It should allow integration with very less coding. In other words, should be configurable.

4. ESB should be more scalable and highly revolvable.

All other features are added as vendors think it is necessary for an ESB. So, an Architect can select appropriate product based on their needs.

Ok! Lets get our hands dirty.


ALSB setup can be (of course, trail version) downloaded from BEA site. I downloaded ALSB 3.0 which comes bundled with WL server 10.0.

There is nothing special about this installation. I just followed the installation setup wizard and it went perfect on my XP machine.

Basic Setup:

As basic setup, I created a user domain for my test project. You don't need to create a new domain, if you prefer to work on example domain, which is created with installation.

So, I created a domain using Start --> All Programs --> Bea Products --> Tools --> Config Wizard. Please follow this link if you have any questions on specific setting.

Once domain is created, start weblogic server from Start --> All Programs --> Bea Products --> User_projects --> --> "Start Server for AquaLogic Service Bus Domain"

Look for server state as running. When server is up and running, it would open Weblogic Admin console automatically. Since we are interested in ALSB and its console, I am not going to discuss about Weblogic Admin Console here.

Weblogic products are considered as one of the best and user friendly because of their Admin Console. All settings and cluster, server maintenance and deployments everything could be done through Admin console.As we expected, ALSB has a Web Admin console, where most of the configuration can be done by just few clicks of mouse.

Ok. I like to wind up this blog at here. So, we have completed the installation of ALSB and before I start next topic, you could play around with various options in admin console to get used to it.

See ya in next blog!