Article

Systems Integration with Openadaptor

Business system integration with little or no custom programming

Openadaptor is a software toolkit that may be classified as a lightweight Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) solution. It provides a configurable component framework for connecting various systems and middleware implementations. In less technical parlance, the components are akin to Lego building blocks that users can snap together to build adaptors, which themselves are the metaphorical glue or plumbing between applications. Originally written in 1997 to help a large financial organization integrate its applications with Message Oriented Middleware (MOM), while avoiding vendor lock-in in the process, Openadaptor has since joined the open source community and evolved to become one of the better recognized systems integration tools.

Through years of usage, however, several shortcomings have emerged. The initial architectural concepts of legacy Openadaptor predated the popularity of XML, and a canonical data representation called DataObjects became an integral part of the framework introducing certain performance overheads and overly strict rules as to what can, and what cannot, be exchanged between an adaptor's components. The experience of developing and supporting legacy Openadaptor has also highlighted several other shortcomings, such as the proliferation of custom code that led to the support hurdles, poorly defined and unclear customization and interface points, and the inevitable tendency toward bloat-ware. This was compounded by the fact that some of the inherent functionalities with time became superseded by industry standard equivalents (the clumsy, though effective, proprietary transaction manager would serve as an example).

More Stories By Kris Lachor

Kris Lachor is a senior software developer at Dresdner Kleinwort.

Comments (2)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.