Somewhat lost in the hoopla of the larger BEA SOA 360 initiative announced at BEA World last week was an initiative to bring legacy applications to the SOA party dressed up in a refitted Tuxedo.
While everyone seemed to be touting SOA 360, BEA Systems Inc. also announced the general availability of Services Architecture Leveraging Tuxedo (SALT) 1.1, which the company said is designed to allow Tuxedo-based transactional applications to be exposed as Web services.
"SALT is a native Tuxedo Web-service stack built on an open-standard SOAP implementation," said Lorenzo Cremona, BEA's director of enterprise infrastructure. Architects and developers can use SALT to take applications originally written in C, C++ or COBOL and transform them into Web services so they can be included in SOA implementations, he explained.
SALT, which runs on top of existing Tuxedo deployments, is being marketed by BEA for companies in financial services, telecommunications, manufacturing, retail, government and transportation industries. Many of these organizations are running Tuxedo applications for transaction processing including wire transfers and ATM processing. SALT is designed to fit into SOA implementations based either on Java Enterprise Edition (JEE) or Microsoft .NET, according to Cremona.
While Tuxedo is old technology in the application world, he said, it is still vital to many so called "mission critical" applications at Fortune 1000 companies that business and consumers interact with every day.
"The top 25 banks in the world are all using Tuxedo for credit card clearing and also for their ATM-based systems," Cremona said. "If you use your local bank and you move money from your checking account to your savings account, or make a cash withdrawal, Tuxedo is most likely running that transaction."
Tuxedo applications could be wrapped in Web services prior to this month's release of SALT, but the process has been made easier for developers with the new technology, Cremona said.
"We always had the ability to expose Tuxedo applications as Web services through WebLogic server," he explained. "There's very tight integration through a component called WebLogic Tuxedo Connector that actually ships with WebLogic server. We've also had customers in the past who developed their own native Web service on top of Tuxedo."
However, because Tuxedo pre-dated WebLogic, some Tuxedo customers do not have WebLogic deployed in their enterprise environment, Cremona said. It was demand from those Tuxedo customers that drove the development of SALT, which began a year-and-a-half ago and culminated with the product release this past week.