Upon reading your original question, I had the distinct feeling of
having been in the same place that you appear to be. It has become
quite common for a company to desire the easy reuse of existing
services, applications, components, and systems. Up until fairly
recently, the problem has been that the only feasible solution to this
quandry would be to "wrap" all existing components so that they can
interface with one another.
The approach to this problem which, in my experience, minimizes
rework involves the use of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and the
so-called ESB (Enterprise Service Bus).
A concise discussion from Sonic Software around the definition of a
service oriented architecture can be found here:
"The W3C Web Services Architecture Working Group defines SOA as a form
of distributed systems architecture that is typically characterized by
the following properties:
Logical view: The service is an abstracted, logical view of actual
programs, databases, business processes, etc., defined in terms of
what it does, typically carrying out a business-level operation.
Message orientation: The service is formally defined in terms of the
messages exchanged between provider agents and requester agents, and
not the properties of the agents themselves.
Description orientation: A service is described by machine-processable meta data.
Granularity: Services tend to use a small number of operations with
relatively large and complex messages.
Network orientation: Services tend to be oriented toward use over a
network, though this is not an absolute requirement.
Platform neutral: Messages are sent in a platform-neutral,
standardized format delivered through the interfaces."
Here is another discussion on the same topic from HP, focused on the value of SOA:
Here are some of the highlights from the above article:
"SOA is more than a group of web services or any other specific set of
technologies: it's an architecture.
In SOA architecture, all functions are aggregated as reusable
services, each of which is defined by a service interface. SOA is the
contract to identify the services, and it contains rules to access
them. All request and response data, exception conditions, and
functionality must be listed as part of this interface. Service
contracts are designed to be coarse-grained, where the interactions
package several function calls and responses into fewer, but larger,
All services are abstracted from the internal design that achieves the
results for the services. The interface should have sufficient
information for a service to be identified and used without needing to
know about its internal design, language, or platform implementation.
A loosely-coupled design also means that services are designed for no
particular service consumer. The information carried by the service
should be agnostic to the purpose and technical objectives of the
The other piece of the puzzle is the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB),
which is a specific segment of the EAI market. It uses an SOA to
facilitate business process management.
An article from Microsoft gives a fairly good understanding of how
this concept has evolved and has been interpreted differently by
I wanted to give you some background on the ideas prior to providing a
list of products. That being said, here are the specifics to address
your query of specific products. There are numerous others popping up
out there but these are two that I have seen in action and that are
relatively reasonably priced:
Company: Sonic Software (http://www.sonicsoftware.com)
Product Name: Sonic ESB
Product Information: http://www.sonicsoftware.com/products/sonic_esb/index.ssp
"Sonic ESBŪ is an enterprise service bus which simplifies the
integration and flexible reuse of business components using a
standards-based, service-oriented architecture (SOA). Free of the
inflexible and costly customization required by other middleware
technologies, the Sonic ESB lets architects dynamically configure the
reliable connection, mediation and control of services and their
Sonic ESB spans clusters and security infrastructures to form a
federated environment which can be managed from any point.
Configurable service interaction eliminates hard-wired dependencies,
so the Sonic ESB makes it easy to deploy initial projects and, without
disruptive recoding, swiftly evolve, scale and extend them throughout
The Sonic ESB is available in the following packages to suit different
Sonic ESB Enterprise Edition license - pricing is per CPU deployment
Sonic ESB Continuous Availability Edition - pricing is per primary CPU
Sonic ESB Remote Site Edition license - pricing is per CPU deployment
Sonic Workbench development license - pricing is named-user
Evaluation versions of products are all available and pricing is not published.
Company: SeeBeyond (now subsidiary of Sun Microsystems) (http://www.seebeyond.com)
Product Name: SeeBeyond Integrated Composite Application Network (ICAN) Suite
Product Information: http://www.seebeyond.com/software/ican.asp
"The key to improving operational performance is rationalizing and
extracting greater value from existing technology assets in place.
Successfully building an integrated composite application network
(ICAN) across disparate enterprise ecosystems creates a business-value
engine generating competitive advantage through increased revenue,
lower total cost of ownership (TCO), faster time to market, more
flexible responses to changing business conditions, and higher
customer and partner satisfaction. The SeeBeyond ICAN Suite allows
organizations to make better use of systems already in place,
connecting seamlessly with partners, suppliers and customers, and
automating core business processes to dramatically improve
Not published, as it varies on your requirements. You can schedule an
appointment with a SeeBeyond Technology Expert to find out the most
Telephone: (800) 425-0541
I hope the information above meets with your satisfaction - if you are
unclear about anything above please post a clarification and I will do
my best to respond in a timely manner.