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Sonic mulls standardising ESB architecture model

Progress Software's Sonic Software division is weighing up offering its enterprise service bus (ESB) architecture and reference model as the basis for an industry standard.Sonic published a largely product-neutral architectural definition for an ESB -- a useful though not essential element in creating a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and allowing access to Web services-based applications -- in 2005.

Progress Software's Sonic Software division is weighing up offering its enterprise service bus (ESB) architecture and reference model as the basis for an industry standard.

Sonic published a largely product-neutral architectural definition for an ESB -- a useful though not essential element in creating a service-oriented architecture (SOA) and allowing access to Web services-based applications -- in 2005.

Dave Chappell, vice president and chief technology evangelist for Progress, said the company has been informally approached by open standards group OASIS with the idea using the document as the basis for an enterprise service bus definition.

"We're still considering that," Chappell told ZDNet Australia during a brief trip to Australia. "The pro would be an agreed upon reference model. The con is that it's such a critical piece of market share for any one vendor, and the vendors participating in the process could get a little bit over the top."

Web services implementations crucially rely on agreement on basic standards, a process which Chappell concedes has not become any faster in recent years. However, the agreement on key underlying standards still represented major progress from the standards wars which characterised earlier attempts to develop integration architectures, he said. "For the first time we have a set of interoperability specifications that all the major vendors agree on, big or small."

Previously, Chappell worked as director of engineering for Sonic. During his visit to Australia, he has met with several major financial institutions which are working to develop their SOA approaches.