IT Architectures and MiddlewareStrategies for Building Large, Integrated Systems
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Every year, large organizations find their IT systems becoming more complex, and more diverse -- and the need for effective enterprise integration becomes more urgent. In this book, Chris Britton offers IT architects and decision-makers practical start-to-finish guidance for defining architectures and choosing middleware strategies that integrate the entire enterprise, maximizing flexibility, resiliency, scalability, security, and manageability. IT Architectures and Middleware gives IT professionals expert guidance for identifying key architectural issues, and building complex distributed systems with confidence and foresight. Rather than focusing on a specific technology such as COM, CORBA, or Enterprise Java Beans, Chris Britton starts with the realities of IT in the enterprise: its massive size and accelerating growth rates. Britton helps system architects rise above the hype and evade the vendor crossfire, presenting a quick survey of middleware technology, and offering guidance on the IT structures and middleware technologies most likely to address their business requirements. For all system architects, project managers, IT leaders and strategists.
The challenges of designing, building, and maintaining large-scale, distributed enterprise systems are truly daunting. Written for all IT professionals, IT Architectures and Middleware will help you rise above the obscuring conflicts of new business objectives, new technologies, and vendor wars so that you can think clearly and productively about the challenges you face.
IT Architectures and Middleware focuses on the essential principles and priorities of system design and emphasizes the new requirements brought to the fore by the rise of e-commerce and distributed, integrated systems. It offers a concise overview of middleware technology alternatives and distributed systems. Numerous increasingly complex examples are incorporated throughout, and the book concludes with guidelines on the practice of IT architecture.
Specific topics covered include:
- Middleware technology, covering Distributed Transaction Processing, Message Queuing, CORBA, COM+ and EJB
- Key principles of distributed systems: resiliency, performance and scalability, security, and systems management
- Information access requirements and data consistency
- Creation of a new presentation layer for existing applications
- Application integration
- Component architectures
Once you get your mind around the concepts, principles, and alternatives discussed in IT Architectures and Middleware, you can proceed with greater confidence to design complex enterprise systems.
List of Figures.
List of Boxes.
1. The Nature of the Problem.
Example: Moving to e-business.What is IT architecture?Why is it different from what we did before?The IT architecture approach.Alternatives.Why not surround?Packages.How do we get there?Rewrite.Evolution.Bringing the techies and modelers together.Conclusions.
2. A Short History of Middleware Technology-- From the Stone Age to Message Queuing.
Early days.Preliminaries.Remote procedure calls (RPC).Remote database access.Distributed transaction processing.Message queuing.Message queuing vs. distributed transaction processing.What happened to all this technology?
3. A Short History of Middleware Technology-- Object Middleware.
Object-oriented concepts.Object middleware concepts.Object middleware technologies-- DCOM and CORBA.Using object interfaces.Conclusions.
4. A Short History of Middleware Technology-- Components and the Web.
Internet applications.Transactional component middleware.COM1.EJB.The issues of state.Conclusions.
5. Middleware Classification and Middleware Architectures.
Middleware elements.Networking and interoperability.The programmatic interface.Server control.System administration infrastructure.A technical classification of middleware?What is communicating?How they communicate.What is the interface?Classifying middleware from technological principles.Vendor architectures.Positioning.Strawman for user target architecture.Marketing.Implicit architectures.Conclusions.
6. What Is Middleware For?
Support for business processes.Transactional, real-time.Transactional, deferrable.Information retrieval.Collaboration.The presentation layer.The transaction server layer.The data layer.A generic functional architecture.Mediators.Conclusions.
Using backup servers.Detecting failure.Clean-up work in progress.Activating the application.Reprocessing "lost" messages.Dual active.Applying resiliency techniques in practice.System software failures.Planned downtime.Application software failure.Developing a resiliency strategy.Conclusions.
8. Performance and Scalability.
The un-slippery slope.Transaction processing.Object interfaces.Transactional component containers.Two-phase commit.Message queuing.Using remote database access for real-time transactions.Conclusions on real time.Batch.Is distribution an alternative?Load balancing.Business intelligence systems.Ad-hoc database queries.Data replication.Backups and recovery.Design for scalability and performance.Conclusions.
9. Security and Systems Management.
Systems management technology.Security technology.Building application security.Circumventing security.Handling internal security violations.Existing applications.Application support for systems management and security.Conclusions.
10. Implementation Design and Components.
Some general comments on design.Implementation design.The presentation layer.Mapping business objects to implementation objects.Grouping objects into components.Making reuse work.Completing the implementation design.Conclusions.
11. Implementing Business Processes.
What is a process?Business processes.The alternative view--functional analysis.Information and processes.Processes and computer applications.Business rules.Real time vs. deferrable.Data distribution.Long transactions.Generic business processes.Batch.Business process flexibility.Conclusions.
12. Information Access and Information Accuracy.
Information access.Basic process information.Process management.Process improvement.Customer view.Marketing and strategic business analysis.Summary of requirements for information access.Information accuracy.Shared data or controlled duplication.Shared data.Controlled duplication.Hybrid strategy.Creating consistency in existing databases.The technical problem.The data migration problem.The business process problem.The information controller.Conclusions.
Creating a presentation layer.Screen-scraping task.Interface size mismatch.Turning existing applications into transaction servers.Wrapping.Building a middle tier.Business processing change with new interfaces.Changing the middleware between transaction servers.Runtime integration products.Extensible markup language (XML).Conclusions.
Understanding large applications.Airline example.Bank example.Batch.Conclusions.
15. Building an IT Architecture.
Integrated applications architecture.Business process design.Managing information.The organizational and project management context.Understanding existing systems.Business process change design.Application functional design.Implementation design.Implementation-coding.Implementation-testing.Deployment.Project management.Breaking down the barriers.The future.
Chris Britton is an independent consultant, specializing in IT architecture. He has worked in IT for the last twenty-seven years doing a variety of jobs—programming, technical support, system software design, program management, technical consultancy, and even marketing. More recently he has been spending his time developing an IT modeling tool.