Extreme transaction processing (XTP) gets down to business in service-oriented architecture (SOA) applications at AbeBooks.com, a Canada-based online bookstore, profiled in a SearchSOA user story earlier this month. The marketplace for books is using Oracle Coherence, a distributed in-memory data grid designed for XTP environments. A product of Oracle’s purchase of Java performance specialist Tangosol in 2007, Coherence automatically partitions data in-memory across multiple servers.
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“We’ve implemented Oracle Coherence for the shopping basket in our online site,” said Leith Painter, manager of development at AbeBooks.com. “We wanted to persist key information in memory for our buyers in purchasing books without having to read/write from the database.”
XTP is highly touted for the financial services industry where it can, for example, help prevent cyber theft by sorting through massive transaction data streams and flagging exceptions that may indicate crimes such as credit card fraud, said David Chappell, Oracle’s chief technologist for SOA, in a Q&A interview.
XTP, and complex event processing (CEP) are potentially killer apps for SOA.
John Bates, whose research at Cambridge University in the U.K. helped pioneer the event-driven technology, predicted in a SearchSOA interview that CEP could create “a new physics of computing” Where older approaches to business intelligence applications focused on hourly, daily or even weekly reports and analysis, CEP has the power to show business managers what is happening now. That’s the “new physics” Bates envisions.
Among the big vendors, IBM WebSphere CTO Jerry Cuomo sees CEP becoming the next big thing SOA. In an interview with SearchSOA, Cuomo envisions applications beyond transaction processing including shipping companies using CEP to monitor RFID and GPS data to track individual packages traveling on a truck.
From the analyst perspective the emphasis on events is a natural progression for SOA.
SOA is all about events, as Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with ZapThink LLC, has been telling us for some time. “Our perspective is that SOA should fundamentally be event-driven,” he said when interviewed for an article on event-processing.
Bloomberg went on to say: “In SOA, services communicate by sending and/or receiving messages, and messages are essentially software events. That is how the system reflects a business event. So in a fully realized SOA implementation, the traffic you’d expect to see on the network will consist of services and service consumers madly exchanging messages — or in other words, large numbers of events in what you might call an event cloud.”