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Is XMPP Still A Relevant Messaging Platform For Middleware?

It might sound surprising on how a protocol that is used in Internet Messaging services could be used in EAI

The recent news on Google stopping further development on their offering Google Wave did create mixed responses.

Thousands of fans even registering support for it and critics liked it. However my interest was on the messaging platform that it used. Extensible Messaging and Presence Protocol (XMPP) has finally come of age and given its high profile usage such as Google Wave and Talk, there is a thought process if XMPP can be used within organizations for middleware or EAI.

It might sound surprising on how a protocol that is used in Internet Messaging services could be used in EAI, but XMPP has evolved and extended itself in the Message oriented Middleware (MOM) domain as well. In my opinion this could be a new dimension for EAI.

At present most of the popular MOMs are Queue based such as Java Messaging Service (JMS) where the Architecture principle is centralization.

A concept of decentralization is noted in TIBCO’s Rendezvous which can work both at a multicast as well as broadcast but is proprietary and customers are moving away from it. XMPP is a welcome standard in EAI and compliments services like JMS by providing an open standard decentralized platform. One exclusive advantage of XMPP is that security is ensured with Simple Authentication and Security Layer (SASL) and Transport Layer Security (TSL) which has been built into its specifications.

So no more botheration of creating a separate security layer over the MOM. Other popular advantages of having a XML based protocol, support for extensions such as HTTP binding, service discovery, File transfer make it quite adaptable to EAI within an enterprise as well as for B2B and B2C integrations. However, it still has not been able to impress any EAI Product Vendors and only example of an EAI implementation mentioned in xmpp.org has been of French Administration employing J-EAI (XMPP’s own EAI product). It remains to be seen whether XMPP makes a mark like JMS or not.

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More Stories By Manas Sarkar

Manas heads the technology, BPM-EAI practice at Infosys. He is the chief architect in BPM, Service-oriented Architecture (SOA) and integration, focusing on customer adoption at an enterprise level. He has more than 13 years of IT experience. Manas manages practice and procedures to adopt continuous process improvement in BPM implementation. He enables BPM & SOA adoption through Infosys’ BPM & SOA Center Of Excellence (COE).