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Get the Messaging Right the First Time  : Page 2

In Part II of DevX's evaluation of JMS products, our middleware expert discusses selection criteria for your own system and the pros and cons of major implementations


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JMS in J2EE
Choosing the right J2EE for your site is a complex task because J2EE is such a sprawl of technologies. Presuming, however, that your J2EE choice is predicated primarily on your choice of JMS, there are several top contenders. The first, without any doubt, is BEA Systems' WebLogic, the market leader. Its JMS is fast and designed in-house. The J2EE implementation is superb; it's universally recognized as the single best version of J2EE available. It has numerous features, excellent performance, scalability, and reliability.

The other heavyweight package is Totally E-Commerce from Hewlett-Packard Co.'s Bluestone Middleware division. The J2EE is also high-performance and scalable, and the JMS is provided by Sonic Software, a market leader in independent JMS versions.

IBM's WebSphere is frequently associated with these products. However, WebSphere 3.5.x is not J2EE compliant. IBM has said it will be shipping J2EE-certifiedWebSphere 4.0 by fall 2001. The quality of WebSphere 4.0 cannot be ascertained, however, until customers have used the product for a while.



The problem with the BEA, IBM, and HP solutions is that they're expensive and oriented toward large-scale server needs.  
The problem with the BEA, IBM, and HP solutions is that they're expensive and oriented toward large-scale server needs. If you have more modest needs or are looking for just a departmental solution, Macromedia's JRun is the best solution; it is easy to install, run, and administer and entirely sufficient for smaller-than-enterprise needs.

Standalone JMSM
If you're buying JMS primarily because you need messaging middleware, you have many choices. The market leaders among standalone JMS vendors are Sonic Software and Fiorano. The implementations are roughly equal in quality. Sonic is part of Progress Software, a publicly traded company that has for many years sold databases to mid-sized companies as well as a development environment for its database. As a result, Progress has somewhat more corporate muscle behind it, whereas Fiorano is a pure JMS company. This observation goes to questions of long-term presence and support, not to quality of implementation.

If you currently have messaging middleware installed and simply want JMS interfaces to it, the first place to check is your current middleware vendor. Almost all vendors are shipping JMS wrappers to their middleware layer or have announced them. If not, then consider SpiritSoft's solution. Its JMS runs over middleware from IBM, Talarian, and Tibco. And if you have none of these installed, SpiritSoft can provide its own transport layer.

There are numerous other independent JMS vendors, some of whom appear in specialized contexts below, but these three players are the main independents and should be on your short list for pure play JMS messaging.

Extreme Performance
Messaging companies that target financial-services firms have offerings that specialize in two aspects: extreme speed and unfailing reliability. The two big names in this space are Tibco and Talarian. Tibco has announced JMS but has not shipped and probably won't for a while. If you have Tibco middleware and need JMS, go to SpiritSoft for your solution.

Meanwhile Talarian has begun shipping two JMS products. The entry-level product, Workbench for JMS, is currently shipping. It's more of an introductory product. Priced inexpensively, it uses a subset of Talarian's SmartSockets technology—enough to fill JMS requirements. The big banana, though, is the Enterprise Workbench for JMS, which is a complete release of SmartSockets with JMS wrappers. This product is a superset of JMS and should be available later this year. And if it's true to SmartSockets' heritage, it will be the fastest JMS you can buy.

SpiritSoft supplies similar technology to financial markets in Europe. There it maintains several contracts in which it incurs legal liability should a client lose a single message. This is extreme reliability.



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