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CORBA is now Actional-ized!

CORBA is now Actional-ized!

November 02, 2009 0 Comments

This is really cool, and I can finally speak about it. Wow, gag orders just don't work very well for me. I mean, I can keep a secret, it's just that the really juicy ones are harder to keep than the others! And, this one's juicy. Ready...

Today we will release Orbix 6.3.4 with support for Actional.

Whoa! I bet at this point a lot of you are like SOA What? (yeah, remember that blog-ism we did here back when SOA was cool?)

Well, let me give you end-to-end visibility into the import of that sentence above.

As with all the other technologies we cover, including the recently announced SAP ABAP integration, Actional integration with Orbix gives customers:

  1. End-to-end message flow visibility across an entire CORBA environment, in run-time, without any impact on performance or scalability. That same visibility extends beyond CORBA, and does so consistently to provide a unified view of message flows and business transactions in their environment.
  2. The ability to centralize run-time policy creation, allow for distributed enforcement across multiple environments, and to ensure compliance with corporate and regulatory policies across the entire messaging infrastructure.
  3. The same tools our current customers have that help them achieve an 80% reduction in time to resolving critical production incidents and a 20% reduction in major production incidents per year by simplifying root-cause analysis and problem resolution.

Now, you might think with all these great benefits, there would be a high cost. Nuh uh!!!

  • No additional coding changes to get this up and running. Instrumentation of all CORBA services is automatic.
  • No architecture changes, Actional won't impact scalability.
  • No extra capacity required, Actional won't impact performance.
  • No additional staff are required, dependencies are dynamically discovered and maintained to help keep the cost of ownership low. In fact, case studies independently verified by Forrester Research of our customers who are in production showed a rather quick payback of the investment due, in part, to the low cost of ownership.

Of course, if you follow Actional and Progress at all, awesome technology is old news. Actional has been working on non-SOA distributed applications since early in the development of our product and anytime we add a new technology, protocol, or platform, we've always added the same rich features, while maintaining the enterprise-class performance. Let me say that again, because I've accidentally brought up a very important point.

The single Actional Agent adds all of the functionality, across all of the protocols and platforms, and provides the same outstanding performance you've come to expect from us. In contrast, many other vendors can support all the platforms/protocols, and all the business-transaction-management features, and do so non-intrusively... but THEY CAN'T DO IT ALL AT THE SAME TIME!

Back on track, sorry for the diversion. I'm almost done here, I promise.

There are other equally interesting implications from this release that I'd like to share (in no particular order).

  1. This helps to, in part, validate the strategy that lead us to acquire IONA in the first place. There are a lot of cross-product synergies.
  2. This continues to prove the applicability of our technology far beyond the common understanding of SOA infrastructure (SOA and HTTP/JMS). We have successfully broken out of the "SOA management" niche, and are providing real value to customers across the entire breadth of business transaction management needs.
  3. In this "recovering" economy, Progress can help customers gain more value from their legacy technology investments by upgrading the capabilities in mission critical platforms like Orbix/CORBA. Whether it's from the operational perspective of lowering their operating costs while providing higher-levels of service, or from the business perspective of preventing "revenue leakage", Actional solves real-world problems without impacting the architecture or requiring coding changes to existing applications.

In closing, I wish I could share some of the early adopter customer quotes here. I can't, but the feedback from the (former) IONA field was equally funny. The IONA field is (relatively) new to Progress and hasn't necessarily developed the instant-automatic love for each-and-every Progress product because we all share a logo color scheme. We actually had to prove ourselves to these guys and gals (a very capable team I might add). Once the engineering team was finished, they took the early software and implemented it at some rather large (and equally skeptical) customers. After running it through it's paces, people were actually smiling. When was the last time you saw beta users smiling at performance results? To quote one guy working at a large airline... "it simply worked the way it should."

Beat that!

david bressler

View all posts from david bressler on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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