Friday, May 1, 2009

Communications Enabled Applications on WebSphere

Great news! The IBM WebSphere Application Server V7.0 Feature Pack for Communications Enabled Applications Open Beta has begun. That means we can finally start talking about the many exciting features in the beta.

First, I thought it would be useful to define what a Communications Enabled Applications are. As defined by Wikipedia, Communications Enabled Applications are:

A communications enabled application (CEA) is a set of information technology (IT) components and communication technology components that are integrated using a particular service-oriented architecture (SOA) to increase the productivity of an organization and/or improve the quality of users' experiences.

Communication enablement adds real-time networking functionality to an IT application. Providing communications capability to an IT application:
  • removes the human latency which exists when (i) making sense of information from many different sources, (ii) orchestrating suitable responses to events, and (iii) keeping track of actions carried out when responding to information received;
  • enables users to be part of the creative flow of content and processes.

What distinguishes a CEA from other software applications is its intrinsic reliance upon communications technologies to accomplish its objectives. A CEA depends on real-time networking capabilities together with such network oriented functions as location, presence, proximity, and identity.

Another distinguishing characteristic of a CEA is the implicit assumption that network services will be available as callable services within the SOA frameworks from which the CEA is constructed. To provide callable services, the network services which are available today must be made virtual and component-like.

CEAs apply to business processes as well as instances where no obvious business process which requires improvement exists (e.g., games, entertainment video). CEAs that apply to business processes are referred to as communications enabled business processes or communications enabled business solutions.

This feature pack has a lot of exciting capabilities including:

  • Web services & REST services-based APIs that

    • build on existing Java skills for simplified creation of, and access to, communications sessions
    • enable a richer user experience for two parties inputting and reviewing data, and while browsing web content

  • Widgets such as Click to Call, Contact Center Cobrowsing, Peer to Peer Cobrowsing and Two-way Synchronized Forms
  • Unit test environment to prototype and test communications enabled applications without the need to access corporate Telephony network
  • Sample reference application to speed learning
  • Access to standards-based Telephony infrastructure
  • Support for the latest SIP Servlet 1.1 standard (JSR 289)
  • Asynchronous Invocation API for accessing remote SIP sessions
  • Telephony interoperability testing with Cisco Unified Communications Manager and Nortel Communications Server 1000 in conjunction with Cisco & Nortel respectively

Stay tuned over the next couple weeks and months as we will be talking a lot more about our IBM WebSphere Application Server V7.0 Feature Pack for Communications Enabled Applications.


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