SonicXQ 1.5 is a "lightweight" integration platform that combines Web services standards, asynchronous messaging and JCA (Java Connector Architecture) to marry applications across a distributed enterprise environment, said Sonic senior product director Paul Moxon.
Sonic's approach, which is designed to orchestrate process flows across applications, differs from the traditional use of a centralised business process engine by moving and co-ordinating distributed application services in Enterprise JavaBeans-like containers across the network backbone.
"Once you have all these services running, SonicXQ can orchestrate them through a process flow," Moxon said.
To circumvent the need for a centralised broker to act as process traffic cop, SonicXQ uses "itinerary-based routing", where the information about the direction and context of a particular application component is attached directly to the message it is contained within, said Moxon. He likened this to the baggage tags that airlines put on luggage that stipulates the bag's final destination regardless of how many interim stops the plane makes to get it there.
Moxon argues that this so-called Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) approach is better suited for highly distributed environments and, in particular, for business-to-business integration, where centralising around one broker hinders performance and scalability.
New features in SonicXQ include support for clustering and load balancing across the application services, out-of-the-box transformation and data mapping via XSLT, and content-based routing. The latest version also improves usability and adds support for IBM's AIX, Red Hat Linux and HP-UX. The Professional Developer Suite version is priced at $3,750 (£2,402) per developer; the Enterprise version is priced at $10,000 (£6,406) per CPU.