GAIA and the services fabric

I've written often about using active intermediaries to modulate the flow of messages in a network of XML Web services. Gaia makes it trivial to inject such intermediaries into the fabric. Its API supports filters, monitors, and transforms. Filters can reject messages that fail a test, for example an authorization check. Monitors gather data for logging and traffic analysis. Transforms can change the behavior of a SOAP endpoint by rewriting its input and output messages.

During the next few years, we'll all be exploring how a services fabric can robustly support and flexibly adapt to the needs of our businesses. Gaia makes that vision seem closer -- and simpler -- than you might think. [Full story at]

I often hear it said that "SOAP is overkill." GAIA is a great example of the kinds of benefits you can get when you ante up to play the SOAP way. It's based on The Mind Electric's GLUE, which makes producing and consuming SOAP services nice and easy. With GAIA, you do no extra work but your services (or indeed any SOAP services, GLUE-based or not) are published into a "fabric" that handles failover automatically, and makes intermediation easy. We hear a lot lately about what's variously called the "enterprise service bus" or "message bus." GAIA makes the concepts simple and approachable, and I think it's wicked cool.

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