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TierBroker White

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5 Utilizations for 1 Development

The TierBroker message is very easy to understand - with one interface you get a complete solution for the five most important data integration requirements.

  • Enterprise Application Integration (EAI)
    Connections to MQ Series, TIBCO, JMS and other message oriented middleware.

  • High Speed Batch Processing
    The ability to process flat-file formats that are character and position delimited, with mixed record structures at speeds of +10,000 records per second.

  • Application Connectors
    Connecting real-time information and transactions to desktop applications. Just paste the Web Services URL into MS Excel to web-enable a spreadsheet. Create customer gateways for SAP, PeopleSoft and Siebel using the same plug-and-play approach.

    Access Web Services as a client. Publish your own Web Services API as a host. TierBroker makes Web Services as easy to use as the Browser.

  • HTML and the Browser
    Web Forms without programming! No CGI, Perl, JSP, ASP, ADO, .NET or J2EE. TierBroker allows you to create complex Web Forms with just plain-text HTML.
TierBroker means leverage, because the code that powers your web site is the same code that runs the nightly batch. There is no duplication of effort to support the five key requirements of data integration.

Self-Contained Solution

The TierBroker Server is a self-contained solution. All of the examples in this white paper use the TierBroker Server in combination with scripting. There is no compiling. There is no app server, web server or platform required.

The TierBroker Server works the same way the web works. The Browser is powered by HTML, which provides structure and JavaScript, which provides program logic. The TierBroker Server is powered by XML, which provides application structure and TBScript, which has the same syntax as JavaScript.

To use the TierBroker Server all you need is the server installation package and a TierBroker project file.

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What is TierBroker?

TierBroker is a toolkit that enables the creation and implementation of middleware. Middleware is the glue that connects different applications by translating and transforming data. Applications also use middleware to read from and write to database managers such as Oracle and Sybase and messaging applications such as MQ Series.

TierBroker has two basic components: the TierBroker IDE (Integrated Development Environment) and the TierBroker Server. The IDE is a powerful programmer's editor that you use to edit an XML file specifying the details of converting your input data into TierBroker objects and how and where you want those objects converted for your output queues. These queues may be disk files or real-time running processes. The TierBroker Server, which runs in a tiny footprint on a variety of platforms, uses the metadata that you specified with the IDE to perform the actual conversions.

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Typical TierBroker Applications

  • Extract Transform Load
    Data conversion between systems. Reading customer or transaction files and loading that information into packages such as Siebel, PeopleSoft, BroadVision, and PowerPlay.

  • Messaging Applications
    Communication within the enterprise. Taking events such as "update customer address" and propagating that information to the customer master database, call center or contact management, billing, ERP or other packages. Use of business rules and application logic to design the communication between the computer systems within the enterprise.

  • Web-based Transaction Processing
    Data exchange using protocols such as TCP/IP, SMTP, POP3, HTTP, and FTP. Automated e-mail response and notification. TierBroker can take the output of submit forms, convert it to XML, and rout it to applications ranging from catalog database queries to shopping cart transactions. Business rules and application logic can be applied without Java or C++ programming.

  • High Volume Batch Processing
    TierBroker can process large volumes of data because it does not depend on a messaging infrastructure. TierBroker has been used to process transaction files with hundreds of thousands of records at speeds greater than 1,000 records per second.

  • Personalization and Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
    TierBroker business rules can be used in combination with content management systems to create customer and opportunity driven web pages. TierBroker has been deployed with BroadVision and is currently being integrated into CRM applications for broadcast video.

  • Electronic Billing Presentment and Payment (EBPP)
    TierBroker can manage B2B transaction processing including invoices, vouchers, and statements with on-line transaction review and error handling capability. TierBroker can be used to transform information between markets and portals such as CommerceOne and Ariba.

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Business Benefits

  • Greatly reduces time-to-market and cost of implementation. Usage of TierBroker has shown that solutions can be achieved at 40% or less of the effort normally required.

  • Applications can be created without software engineers because the TierBroker does not use compiled source code.

  • Business logic is separated from workflow so that applications can be assembled and tested in a software factory using spreadsheets to simulate real time message flows.

  • XML native tool. Requires no C++ or Java coding. TierBroker can be implemented without senior programming resources in a fraction of the time it takes using competing products.

  • Requires no expensive infrastructure. TierBroker can use messaging environments, such as MQ Series, CORBA and COM. However, it needs none of these technologies to operate. The TierBroker Server operates in Windows 98/NT, Solaris, HP/UX and AIX with ports to other platforms planned for the future.

  • High Volume, High Throughput. TierBroker has been used to implement some of the largest and most complex data integration projects in the capital markets.

  • Allows opportunistic development. TierBroker can be used for specific data integration requirements. Most competing technologies are sold as an end-to-end solution only; their cost structure, both in terms of licensing fees and implementation requirements, makes them practical only if they are implemented across the entire enterprise. Instead of being an expensive "complete" solution that forces you to replace you entire system, TierBroker is a reasonably priced tool for integrating existing system components from the latest cutting-edge technology to legacy mainframe databases.

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Product Architecture

  • Object Oriented Projects
    The unit of work in TierBroker is the project. A project may inherit other projects, and multiple inheritance is supported for using several libraries of TierBroker metadata. TierBroker has an object oriented philosophy toward inheritance, reuse and distribution of applications. Projects have version control and effective dating, which allows an application to be examined or run for a specific version and asOfDate.

  • Objects, Maps and Workflows
    There are three moving parts in TierBroker. Objects, which are data structures, Maps, which represent transformations between classes of objects, and Workflow, which combines objects and Maps with real world sources and targets. Each of these items has attributes that may be configured within the TierBroker IDE.

    A good example of an attribute is the txt:TextType attribute of the TextFile Queue type. The txt:TextType indicates what type of text (CSV|XML|Plain) the queue should expect to process.

  • Workflow in TierBroker
    Within a project, Workflow specifies the operation of the server at runtime. Within a single workflow, input and output queues indicate the source and destination of objects at runtime. Even a relatively complicated workflow, such as the one shown below, is still just a computer program that reads a file and generates output that is then directed to an XML file, a database, and another process that transforms that information and writes it to a NULL Queue for testing purposes. When you use your mouse to assign objects, maps, and queues to a workflow, you can assemble complex multi-queue transformations much faster than you could by coding in a traditional programming language.

  • Data Definition
    TierBroker uses XML as its primary data definition language. You can use XML DTD declarations to describe the structure of your input, regardless of its format, to TierBroker. However, object structure definitions may also be imported from a variety of sources including MS query files, SQL query statements, SQL tables, existing XML DTDs and TierBroker Object Definition Language. Object structure definitions can also be defined within the TierBroker IDE by creating a new object and adding fields.

  • Object Relational Model
    TierBroker has an object relational architecture. Single inheritance, is-a and has-a relationships are all supported. References between objects are defined by keys that may combine data attributes and constant values. For example, the relationship between a swap trade header and the floating rate leg might be written as: (tradeLeg.tradeId = 10023 AND tradeLeg.legType = "F"). This looks like an SQL "where" clause, but it is not a complete SQL statement, nor does it assume that the object resides in an SQL database. Instead, it's a loose where clause, because it combines the syntax of the SQL where clause with the properties of many persistent datastore types.

  • Mapping and Transformation
    Mapping, transformation, validation and enrichment are the basic properties of middleware. TierBroker Import Maps specify how to transform one object type into another. Transformation maps do not specify many-to-one relationships by themselves; instead, a map specifies the relationship between one class of objects and another. Applications may combine maps in workflows to support one-to-many and many-to-one relationships. TierBroker applications can also combine maps with script-based business logic to support content-based many-to-one transformations. The transformation of transactions into journal entries is one example of this capability.

    Creating complex mappings is as easy as filling out a form with the TierBroker IDE. The following screenshot shows how a TierBroker user mapped four EVENT_D input fields to an ODS_EVENT_OCCURRENCES TierBroker object along with five new fields of calculated information:

  • Business Rules
    TierBroker applications use business rules to specify data enrichment using lookups and decodes, routing decisions involving queues, and conditional relationships between objects and transformation maps.

  • Application Logic
    TierBroker can extend the power of Maps, Workflow and business rule scripting using a variety of techniques. XML messaging, stored procedures and user exit functions are all supported.

  • Real Time vs. Batch Processing
    In TierBroker, data transformation and mapping requirements are fully abstracted from the implementation of real time versus batch processing. The same objects, business logic and transformations that are tested and developed for real time transaction processing over the web can also implement high volume batch processing of files obtained via FTP. TierBroker allows objects and transformations to be applied to both real time and batch processing.

    TierBroker allows objects and transformations to be applied to both real time and batch processing

    Some products claim to have the same capability. What they really mean is that they can do one of two things:

    • Apply message-based architectures (generally CORBA, JMS or MQ Series) to batch files by loading each file onto the message transport layer one record at a time.
    • Shoe-horn real time transactions into a batch architecture by loading messages into a temporary file or database table.

    TierBroker takes a different approach by implementing high speed native connections to both batch and real time data sources.

  • The Information Bus--Not the Magic Bus
    Real time message-based architectures are great for distributing on-line transactions. Even high volume real time systems rarely need to process more than 50 transactions per second. Very few e-commerce web sites support more than 180,000 transactions per day, which is the implication of 50 transactions per second for just one hour! However, many corporate reporting applications have consolidations that involve millions of records. For example, calculating the global currency exposure of a financial institution on a currency/counterparty cross product basis can involve the aggregation of hundreds of thousands of complex positions. In other words, trying to process a 500,000 record file using a message-based architecture is a really bad idea. However, this is the approach used by many message-based tools, which boast of adapters to legacy database and flat file formats.

  • Native RDBMS Support
    TierBroker can communicate via ODBC easily. If you're using Oracle or Sybase, however, and you need real speed, you don't have to use ODBC--you can use the built-in drivers for these database managers. Drivers for other popular RDBMS such as Informix and MS SQL Server are also available.

  • Transaction Support
    Batch processing and real time systems have different transaction boundary requirements. TierBroker imposes no arbitrary transaction commit points. Instead, the developer selects application level transaction boundaries, which are based on the packet structure of the data stream.

  • TierView
    In addition to letting you monitor the transaction status of the TierBroker Server as it performs production workflows, serves as a powerful debugger for applications in development. You can set breakpoints and then, when execution is interrupted, examine data and perform commands at the debugging prompt before resuming execution.

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E-mail or call us at (212) 607-7580 for more information on what TierBroker can do for your system.



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