Version 7 and “what’s new”
I’ve mentioned the new drops of WMB in passing during the year, and I’ve spoken about them in detail as I’ve visited customers and conferences during 2010. So far though, I don’t think I’ve written about it at length this year. Considering I’ve written developerWorks articles and Redbooks on the subject in the past, it’s something of an omission that I need to fix! The version 7 release has had four overarching themes: Universal Connectivity for SOA; Dynamic Operational Management; Platforms, Environments, and Performance; and (perhaps most importantly) Simplicity and Productivity.
I said I was excited, and that’s for two reasons, I think. Firstly, as a technical integration developer, I’m constantly interested in the new function being introduced to enhance the capabilities of the product – I’ll list out a few of those in a moment, but the number of new nodes and functions that have been added to enable you as a developer to get at your information, connect to your services and endpoints, and transform your messages, is just fantastic. Secondly, under that theme of Simplicity and Productivity, the product has been hugely streamlined, and with the usability enhancements and patterns support that have been added, it is faster than ever to get going even as the function becomes richer.
There’s too much to talk about that has dropped into the product capabilities since version 7 became available just over a year ago, but to whet your appetite you’ll find that the 2 updates in 2010 included solidDB support, CORBARequest nodes, a DatabaseInput node, FTE nodes for coordinating or responding to file transfers in WMQ FTE, EmailInput and FileRead nodes, a JSON parsing domain and RESTful web service examples, performance profiling, JDEdwards nodes… this is a team that never stops delivering fantastic, high-quality content. The WMB 18.104.22.168 release notes and details are available on the IBM Support pages, you can check out MGK’s summary of the release at MQSeries.net, or you can jump to the What’s New section in the Infocenter to catch up on 12 months of enhancements!
Patterns and Communities
One of the big items that has been delivered in version 7 has been Patterns – the ability to take a predefined operation or template, fill out a few parameters to customise it for your environment, and deploy a working set of message flows. Ant Phillips has just blogged about the enhancements in patterns authoring in the latest release, and the creation of the new Patterns Community which is over at MQSeries.net. If you saw Ant at any of our conferences this year you’ll know what a great speaker he is and how cool the demos of this technology are.
I’m excited about this, as I know it can help to maintain consistency, learn good practices, and speed along development – isn’t it much easier to build something when you have a framework to follow? I know one of the first things I tend to do when learning something is to look for a good example, and then as a good citizen I like to share what I’ve done to help others, when I can. If you’re a Broker developer I hope you’ll be keen to share and learn within that community. I know Ant and the rest of the team will be eager to listen to your feedback, as they have been doing actively for the past couple of years. There is a nice introductory article on how to create your own patterns on developerWorks. Get contributing!
By the way, I love this paragraph from Ant’s post announcing the community, as it echoes and reinforces what I’ve been talking about in my role as WebSphere Messaging Community Lead. I’m sure he won’t mind me borrowing it:
With this in mind you might be interested in a new global pattern community – mqseries.net has added a pattern community where you can find, download and share patterns. We will be putting some very cool example patterns up over the next few weeks to help get it started. Why mqseries.net? Well communities are all about people, and mqseries.net is where the Broker community go to find answers.
The final thing I want to mention is that WebSphere Message Broker can now be deployed into a virtualised environment from the WebSphere CloudBurst Appliance. This is cool, particularly when you start to see some of the tie-ins with things like patterns and scripting which enable you to customise the broker instances. A video is worth at least another three paragraphs of waffle though, so I’ll hand over to my colleagues…