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Creative Science Systems: Middleware for the Masses

NetZyme Enterprise Version 6 offers "any-to-any" middleware connectivity at an affordable price

Creative Science -

Once upon a time, middleware meant the laborious process of building customized interfaces between applications. Message hubs that sat at the center of the infrastructure replaced these "spaghetti networks" of point-to-point connections. Messages would be routed to the hub from various systems, their format and structure transformed and relayed to the receiving applications or networks. In the early days of such products, extensive programming was required. However, as technology has matured Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) suites have eliminated much of the middleware tedium.

Problem solved? Not quite. While such EAI solutions allowed enterprises to upgrade their existing infrastructure while retaining legacy systems, they had several major drawbacks. The price tag on middleware suites from the likes of IBM and Candle, for example, often run into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Such products typically focused on specific legacy platforms or a limited number of applications. In a heterogeneous environment, therefore, several types of middleware might be required to hook up mainframes and other legacy platforms to more modern infrastructures.

Enter NetZyme® Enterprise by Creative Science Systems, Inc. of Campbell, CA. Unlike other middleware products that require the installation of massive programs and databases, NetZyme Enterprise fits in just around 1 MB of space and provides complete interoperability between all versions of Java and ANSI C languages.

This means any-to-any connectivity - any data, language, platform, protocol, or device. It can also operate on any version of Windows, any flavor of UNIX and Linux, mainframes (AS/400, S/390 and RS/6000), mobile platforms (Palm VII and PocketPC), and all other platforms supporting Java.

Currency trading firm Forex Capital Markets (FXCM), for example, utilizes NetZyme to provide system-wide integration across its Internet-based foreign exchange dealing system. FXCM needed a solution that worked in real time with very complex databases and which could scale up without losing performance during a move from a traditional middleware environment to NetZyme. Every month, between 50,000 and 100,000 trades are now successfully executed. FXCM clients can trade without having to worry about slow execution, freezing, and server crashes that are linked to Java-based systems during heavy trading times.

"During testing, NetZyme outperformed the other middleware products and we are very pleased with the results," said Marc Prosser, Chief Marketing Officer for FXCM.

E-Commerce Necessity
Like FXCM, many companies are realizing that if they continue to tolerate isolated systems, they risk losing their competitive advantage. The trend, therefore, is towards the creation of systems and networks that can interface seamlessly with branch offices and partners around the globe.

"Expanding e-commerce depends on the quality of an integrated infrastructure," said Kimberly Knickle, an analyst with AMR Research. "Information islands prevent many organizations from serving their customers and competing more effectively and that is where EAI comes in."

According to IT market research firm Meta Group, however, the 2,000 largest companies in the world each use an average of 49 business applications. As a result, as much as 35 percent of a company's IT budget can be absorbed by application integration. Integration itself would be relatively straightforward if applications conformed to the same set of standards and used the same operating protocols, platforms, languages, and devices. But they typically don't.

NetZyme solves this problem by offering platform-independent, enterprise-grade, integration middleware that fully supports a wide range of platforms. This has recently been expanded to include Mac OS X (both in Java and C/C++), QUALCOMM's BREW system, UMB (Universal Messaging Bus), Web services, SSL/TLS, Palm OS®, Microsoft Pocket PC®, and other PDA platforms. It includes IDE/GUI for rapid development and it can be used to design and manage any .NET application.

NetZyme Enterprise Integration Middleware Suite reduces integration effort with non-intrusive transformation of aging system-dependent programs into distributed applications. In spite of its extremely small footprint, NetZyme maintains large load capacity per CPU. It is capable of very fast client-server roundtrip through the database and has a rapid developer learning curve.

"Our new version NetZyme Enterprise for .NET has full functionality of SSL to enhance secure transactions as well as our existing authentication and authorization security mechanism," said Jacob Dreyband, CEO of Creative Science Systems. "Also we have extended our wireless functionality to HandSpring, Pocket PC, and Palm OS support."

Modern middleware products such as NetZyme are finally beginning to demonstrate a similar level of maturity to other aspects of technology. In some cases, these tools have matured to the point where they represent a relatively small download, a price tag that is affordable for small and mid-sized businesses, and an integration timeline that means days rather than months or years.

Creative Science -

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IT Solutions Guide (ITSG), aimed at development and corporate managers, is a free quarterly supplement focusing on the most competitive tools, solutions, and services available in the IT and infrastructure technology world today.

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