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Why You Can't Ignore the JMS  : Page 2

A fateful Sun decision suddenly makes Java Messaging Service an even more important factor in corporate development


Market Segments
J2EE Vendors
While all J2EE vendors must provide a JMS server, almost none have written their own. BEA Systems, the market leader in J2EE sales, is one of the few exceptions; its JMS was developed entirely in-house. The old-guard middleware vendors who now sell J2EE platforms have provided JMS wrappers to their middleware piping. IBM did this, for example, wrapping JMS around MQseries. Likewise, Talarian Corp. wrapped JMS around its SmartSockets middleware.

Several J2EE vendors chose the third path, which was to OEM their JMS from independent third-party vendors. Hewlett-Packard's Bluestone J2EE server, for example, uses a JMS layer from Sonic Software (a division of Progress Software).

These OEM'd versions come from a variety of independents that are contentiously vying with each other and squabbling over benchmarks.

The Independents
The most visible is Sonic Software. It is by far the best marketed of all JMS implementations and is viewed in many quarters as one of the best implementations as well. Its most impressive credential is that HP Bluestone's use of SonicMQ JMS in its J2EE was instrumental in winning HP the contract of American Airlines' massive Sabre reservations project. The project needed fast and scalable messaging, and the Sonic JMS provided this.

Sonic and Fiorano have waged a war of words about whose implementation is faster. And you can go to their respective Web sites to find the latest charges about whose benchmarks you should believe.  
Sonic's strongest direct competition comes from Fiorano Software, a company that developed one of the very earliest JMS implementations. It was also one of the first to offer SSL and a variety of other security features. And Fiorano is leading the way in other innovations such as content-based routing of XML messages. Sonic and Fiorano have waged a war of words about whose implementation is faster. And you can go to their respective Web sites to find the latest charges about whose benchmarks you should believe.

However, if you're looking for real-time messaging, neither Fiorano nor Sonic are likely to be your best option. For pure blinding speed, look at the next page, Extreme Vendors.

The third important independent is SpiritSoft, an English firm that recently set up offices in the U.S. SpiritSoft has much to recommend it. It is probably the first vendor to deliver a JMS implementation, having done so in early 1998. It also has chosen a unique implementation: its JMS will ride over other vendors' transports. So if you have Talarian, Tibco, or IBM's MQseries middleware in your shop or any combination of these, SpiritSoft's JMS will ride seamlessly over these transports. It also works over Microsoft's MSMQ—a unique trait. If you have none of these message layers, SpiritSoft provides its own transport. The company has its roots in the financial-services sector, so its particular strength is reliability. Fittingly, it OEMs its JMS to Persistence Software, whose PowerTier J2EE implementation is targeted at the financial market.

Sonic Software and Fiorano allow developers to download and use a free copy of their product, which is limited by the number of connections it will support. SpiritSoft offers a complete implementation for free to developers on a 60-day time-locked trial basis.

For a completely free unrestricted version, consider SwiftMQ's JMS, a full commercial implementation from Germany. Also, an open-source version is available from exolab.org under the name OpenJMS.

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