One question that I am often asked is
“So what does a gateway do anyway?”
Many think of it just as a piece of security infrastructure that “secures web services and XML traffic”, and yes it does that (too). Others perceive it as a transformation engine converting between disparate data formats and protocols, they too would be correct. There are a few SOA fanatics that recognise a gateway as providing a point of enterprise wide control, monitoring and reporting – and as a key architectural component for both design time and runtime governance. In fact the Vordel Gateway provides all of these features and more.
I have been involved in countless gateway implementations across all market verticals and whilst I have seen similarities in designs and some common requirements for gateway functionality, I can honestly say that no two implementations are the same. One of the greatest strengths of the gateway is flexibility. It could and often is considered a network Swiss Army knife, the real challenge being to know which blades to use for what.
The purpose of this and future posts is to share a little of what I know the gateway can do, and perhaps draw attention to some of those that require a little lateral thinking, a few “How Tos” and “Why Tos” and hopefully comments from readers that will prompt a little health debate.
I’ve listed a few topics that I intend to cover below, but I’m happy to go ‘off road’ and take a steer on what ground to cover from any comments that are posted.
- Pop3 to SOAP/ReST API
- Controlling services at runtime
- Selective Tracing (runtime debugging)
- Service throttling – in-line and abstracted
- ReST [style] Façade for Services – no code required!
- Why SSL May Not Be Enough – data at rest and message level encryption
- Detecting Client Certificate Expiry [before the event]
- Using Active Directory Group membership for Authorisation
- Service/Operation based User, Rate and Quota Provisioning – with database integration.
In addition to the above list I’ll be covering high availability and gateway scaling in general. If what is here isn’t enough, there is a whole host of valuable information, tips and tricks, videos and more from CEO Mark O’Neill http://www.soatothecloud.com/ and also various contributions from the Vordel Solution Architecture Team at http://xmlgateway.blogspot.com