This project began by analysing business information exchanges to identify a common information structure foundation for head office and all subsidiaries: the canonical data model. This provides an additional level of indirection between individual application data formats. If a new application is added to the integration solution only a transformation between the canonical data model needs to be created, retaining independence from other applications that already participate.
For this approach we used two main products: Oracle Service Bus (OSB) and Axway API Gateway (APIG). OSB was located in the head office to manage message transformation and internal application connectivity. A main instance of APIG was deployed in the head office to secure communication with subsidiaries over the Internet. Finally, lighter APIG instances were deployed at each subsidiary to manage local security and connectivity.
We used the OSB data requesting tool XQuery to transform an application’s message format to and from the canonical model, while Web Services (which are easy to configure) managed the technical communication with applications.
Axway API Gateway was responsible for transporting and securing exchanges and was configured in three layers. The external layer was a facade to secure all exchanges with encryption and authentication. A utility layer used a WebDAV framework to transport information to shared directories. The internal layer was a SOAP module for processing messages with OSB. Main APIG benefits were its out-of-the-box features to provide high availability, native connection to heterogeneous backends, message transformation and ability to manage complex security.