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Martin Fowler: MultipleCanonicalModels and messaging integration

MF Bliki: MultipleCanonicalModels

One of the interesting consequences of a messaging based approach to integration is that there is no longer a need for a single conceptual model to underpin the integration effort.

Exactly! At Propylon we've been building messaging solutions combined with data and domain model transformations for our customers for a few years now, with great success*. It's unquestionably the way forward when you combine it with XML document payloads - technology that offers genuine value while preserving existing investments. No more rip and replace as our CTO, Sean, likes to say. Which is why the web services world are in the process doing a 180 from RPC to Doc/Lit - they got it so very wrong.

These days many integration groups question the shared database approach, instead preferring a messaging based approach to integration. I tend to agree with this view, on the basis that while it's not the best approach in theory, it better recognizes the practical problems of integration - especially the political problems.

I understand the lure of the one true model, and if you know anyone that still believes in it, you could do no better than give them a copy of Bill Kent's classic Data and Reality. But in this case, messaging is the best theoretical approach that also happens to be the best practical approach. Such beasts are sadly rarer than they should be in IT.

Who knows, maybe Martin will write the book on message based integration as he has for n-tiered architectures.


[Sean and Fergal have written a whitepaper that explains the value of the messaging approach: Principles of Service Oriented Integration].


July 30, 2003 09:16 PM

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