An enterprise middleware solution allows disparate information technology (IT) systems to be integrated into one seamless, efficient system. As software and database platforms continue to develop at an accelerated pace, legacy systems can be a drain on resources, requiring complex workarounds and major code modifications in order to share data. This middleware offers an easy-to-use tool that integrates existing IT systems with new applications to help businesses become more agile, intelligent, and innovative.

The enterprise middleware solution provides a single access point for numerous legacy systems to be integrated with new IT systems. The middleware system is composed of four tiers:

Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). This is a single entry point for all transaction requests. The entry gateway authenticates and validates requests and routes XML messages to the appropriate queue. Once a request is sent, the entry gateway listens for the returned requests on the respective queue and submits results to the user.

Messaging Service. The messaging service stores all messages between the entry gateway layer and the enterprise middleware interface. It provides a secure wall surrounding the enterprise middleware orchestration layer, storing messages from the publisher and the subscriber.

Enterprise Middleware Interface. This represents the main intelligence of the entire SOA, processing each request in the form of a message, building the request, and intelligently routing to the respective business Web service. The orchestration layer determines the appropriate Web service to call, then sends the message to the Web service with an encryption key.

Business Logic Web Services. This tier incorporates key encryption to ensure that the only communication possible is between the enterprise middleware and the respective Web service. It is configured to interface directly with the enterprise middleware when a message is received. This layer adheres to JSR-181 specification to ensure standardization on various platforms.

This solution enables companies to stay agile and adopt new IT systems while still retaining comprehensive access to data stored in legacy systems. Built around XML, the SOA is loosely coupled and therefore highly flexible, which means legacy systems can be accessed in one central location without the need for any complex and time-consuming code changes. The product is also significantly less expensive than commercially available competitors.

This work was done by Michael Ritchson of L-3 Communications Vertex Aerospace, LLC for Armstrong Flight Research Center. DRC-010-040

NASA Tech Briefs Magazine

This article first appeared in the December, 2014 issue of NASA Tech Briefs Magazine.

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