For the past 7 weeks I worked on my first Proof-Of-Concept (POC) for a financial system corporation. The initial scope of the work revolved around using SOA Expressway primarily as rapid & high performance secure integration product. Thoroughly handling these requirements, a second scope was added to briefly showcase SOA Expressway as a security gateway (SSO with CA Siteminder), a mediator for file augmentation, scheduling, error handling, routing, and XSL mapping.
The integration evaluation centered on converting different kinds of financial data, both structured and semi-structured (Telekurs, SWIFT, etc.) into a proprietary structured delimited flat-file format. SOA Expressway’s codeless design time companion - Services Designer, supports Informatica’s Data Transformation Studio (a tool designed for converting non-XML data to XML) as an eclipse plug-in. I used this plug-in to convert the financial data into XML including inline augmentations via built in data ‘transformers’ allowing for things such as table lookups, date based logic and conversion, string extraction, string manipulation, and calculations.
Stylesheets used for XSL transformation were created using Intel’s new XSLT Visual Mapping Tool. This tool, also a plug-in to the Services Designer, works seamlessly with rest of the functionality allowing users to graphically build XML Stylesheets either based on existing schemas, sample XML documents, WSDLs, or from scratch. Imagine, not having to write XSL at all and having it generated automatically for you! Very very few tools have this kind of capability – my user was suitably impressed. I wanted to demonstrate the full power of this tool, including not worrying about schemas (tool derives schema from the sample XML), and being able to visually map WSDLs for virtualization, but this use case did not require all of that capability.
For this POC, we simply chose an XML schema or document as our source and graphically built the financial flat-file format as our output.
The mapper consists of three views when editing:
- Outline View: Shows the stylesheet outline.
- Connection View: Shows the connection of SELECTED node in the outline view. There are several data augmenting formulas, string manipulation and calculations that can be done on this data.
- Source Explorer View: Shows all available sources such as source schema, functions, parameters, variables and contexts.
I used the source XML Schema, and in the connection view visually built out the flat-file format as our output. The stylesheet was generated automatically and became part of my application. The beauty is that if I need to change something in the stylesheet, when the system is in production, I can generate the new stylesheet and then using the application deploy capability, update the stylesheet in any number of runtimes with a single click.
With the financial data in XML, SOA Expressway to do many things, including perform content based routing, perform Web Services invocations, data augmentation, and XSL transformation, which was done to create the required delimited flat-file format.
I followed this by adding a single sign-on step with CA SiteMinder using SOA Expressway’s built-in support for CA (in addition to LDAP, AD, Oracle Access Manager, Tivoli Access Manager, and Oracle Entitlements Server). For file mediation, both the file contents and metadata where easily examined for logic based decisions around processing acceptance, rejection, or augmentation. Scheduling was also a snap because of SOA Expressway's implementation of the Quartz Enterprise Job Scheduler.
The demo built end to end, allows the user to build integration profiles for partners and internal applications, that involved user authentication & SSO token generation and SWIFT/Telekurs data transformation into the flat-file format based on a job scheduler.