An SOA built without Web services!

A Big Science SOA -- with nary a Web service in sight

Last week, I posted some thoughts about divorcing Web services from service-oriented architecture. The two work together, but aren't necessarily the same.

Lo and behold, this story from TechTarget comes up -- SOA is now being employed for the monitoring controls for the world's largest particle accelerator, but employing Java-based technologies , not Web services. And all seems to be humming along nicely.

As the system is built on Java Message Service and Enterprise Java Beans-based services, with nary a Web service in sight. "This is very much event-driven SOA, but there are no Web services in use," said Hub Vandervoort, CTO of the Enterprise Infrastructure Division at Progress Software Corp., which supplied the JMS technology.

Particle accelerators at the CERN (European Organization for Nuclear Research) are monitored by an event-driven SOA system called the Technical Infrastructure Monitoring (TIM) system.  TIMS monitors vital signs such as temperature and pressure within the accelerators including the new 17-mile Large Hadron Collider (LHC), the world's largest particle accelerator. In the event of failure, an alarm will sound.

The SOA-based system takes readings from 30,000 gauges and publishes them to an enterprise service bus. Technicians at workstations and PC browsers -- as well as autonomic systems and auditing databases --subscribe to the service readings.

TIMS is built on Apache servlet engines, Oracle application servers, and uses the SonicMQ JMS messaging technology from Progress. For desktop views, which mostly go to technicians at workstations, but also includes browser-based systems, CERN used JViews from ILOG Inc.

"This is a huge system of very different types of equipment," Peter Sollander, technical infrastructure operations department manager at CERN, is quoted as saying. "There are 30,000 data points coming from 100 different local systems. We process 1.3 million value changes per day. That's the throughput we're dealing with. We plan that it will go up with the introduction of new systems, new data sources."

Speaking of Web services versus SOA, I'll be delivering a presentation at SOA World in New York tomorrow (Wednesday, June 27) on the topic of "JBOWS* or SOA -- A Reality Check." (*Just a Bunch of Web Services). I will explore some survey results that explore how far along companies are in moving from JBOWS to SOA.