IBM extends messaging

IBM extends messaging

MQSeries middleware adds wireless communication

By Susan M. Menke

GCN Staff

The wireless trend has reached enterprise middleware in IBM Corp.'s recently released MQSeries Everyplace secure messaging software.

The Palm OS emulator of MQSeries Everyplace can secure and authenticate messages between systems. It has a 64K footprint.

MQSeries, originally developed for loosely coupling disparate enterprise systems together via a series of messages, now has a tiny, 64K client. It can work with Palm OS devices, as well as with the Psion Epoc operating system and the Java Virtual Machine. It also can operate in sensors and over wireless networks' Wireless Application Protocol and General Packet Radio System. The smallest message that can pass, with built-in authentication and Data Encryption Standard or Triple DES encryption, is 12 bytes.

Unlimited small-client software is free with the purchase of IBM's $5,000 MQSeries server and digital certificate software for Microsoft Windows NT and 2000, SunSoft Solaris, IBM AIX and Java platforms. PC client software for Windows 98 costs $300.

MQSeries 'interrogates and ties all kinds of systems together with messages,' said Barry Aldred of IBM's UK Laboratories in Hursley Park, England. 'You don't have to have all the networks and applications up at once.' The Everyplace version extends the secure messages to 'devices so small that we had to reduce MQSeries by two orders of magnitude.' He said the smallest message formerly was 500 bytes.

Part of the revision work was incorporating security for mobile and remote users who work outside firewalls. MQSeries' value is in asynchronous messaging, Aldred said, 'but outside the firewall, users want first to know if their messages have been received, so we added synchronous messaging. Another issue was pervasive messaging'where do you address a message' when all the clients are mobile.

The entirely object-based MQSeries Everyplace conserves bandwidth and footprint by following rules instead of having numerous functions built into the software. 'Rules are invoked to handle, for example, very large messages,' Aldred said.

IBM plans to roll out other such pervasive applications, he said, because packet radio networks and ordinary e-mail messaging cannot guarantee the handling of highly important information. The next release of IBM's DB2 Everyplace database manager will work with MQSeries Everyplace messaging, he said.

Commerce networks such as the enableNet any-to-any transformation network operated by CommerceQuest Inc. of Tampa, Fla., use MQSeries, he said, to change messages in, say, Lotus Notes into transactional formats such as X12 for electronic data interchange.

CommerceQuest also has a secure enableNet connection to the Customs Service for importers, exporters and brokers.

Contact IBM's Federal Information Call Center at 800-333-6705.


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