Are changes coming to specialized XML gateways/accelerators? It appears so. Is everyone onboard with the idea? No. Some viewers say the gateway will place its best traits – security and data transformation – in jeopardy, if it dilutes its ”core competencies” and begins to take on the traits of a general purpose system.
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But IBM has added data caching to its Data Power engine. Intel expanded features too. In the latter case, cloud computing is a big driver. And workflow orchestration is the added feature.
That’s what Todd Cramer, director of product marketing for Intel’s SOA products group told us in conversation last year. Cramer said:
“We see an evolution for XML gateways. They first processed XML at wire speed, then [they began] to validate for security. We think in the new environment of the cloud, what you need is an added workflow on top of it. We added a workflow engine. Cloud is the real thing that is changing the game. Now, a service may be scaled off site to public or private cloud.”
It is not BPEL-style workflow orchestration that Cramer is discussing – rather, it is machine-to-machine orchestration. It is fair to say the XML accelerator has recently become a more interesting piece of SOA infrastructure. The gateway itself stands at a crossroads.