back to article One help desk API to unite them all

Businesses everywhere have embraced open source as a way to increase innovation and drive down software acquisition costs. Unfortunately, open source doesn't solve an even bigger problem companies have: making their software/systems talk to each other. Whether you're Chevron or Sam's Truck Stop, at some point you're going to …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Elementary Systems Integration my dear Watson

    The first part of the article describes this down to a 'T'.

    There are many products that can be used to 'fill the gap' or you can 'roll your own'.

    Filling that gap is what I've been doing for the last 30+ years.

    One popular description of such a solution is to use an ESB, Enterprise Service Bus.

    This stops the mess of point to point connections. Any decent ESB will be able to talk many different protocols and do format transformation in a trice.

    I've looked at several Open Source ESB's (Apache/Camel, WS02 etc). They are not there yet if you compare them to the top proprietary products. A year ago WS02 was totally unusable. Now, well, the jusry is out but and it is a big BUT, you still have to craft a lot of horrid looking XML to define things like JDBC connections, SAP JCA connections etc.

    The time to develop for these products is also considerably longer than for the best of the propeitary alternatives. I did one 'thing in the middle' recently that took JMS messages and initiated a SAP Bapi call without writing a line of code or creating a single XML connection config file.

    When Open Source alternatives can do that then I'll gladly sing their praises. At the moment, people like me are using proprietary tools to fill the gap and letting business get on, with you know, doing business.

    It's Friday. It's almost 8pm, time for beer.

    1. Mark 65 Silver badge

      Sounds like

      what you may want to look at is something like openadaptor

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is that like a Universal Business Adapter?

  3. Anonymous Coward


    *RULE* them all!


    1. MichaelBirks


      And in the Darkness, bind them.

      If it wasn't for you meddling elves, and your stupid Hobbits!

  4. A J Stiles


    That's what Perl is for: reading saved data out of one application and rendering it into the format saved out of another application.

  5. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Re Meh & Perl


    Does Perl handle SWIFT or FX or HL7 formatted messages pretty well OOTB at a rate of 100/second with guraranteed delivery of the results?

    Businesses want certanty and reliability. Until the FOSS bits in the middle can deliver that 24/7 and meet all the corporate audit requirements, plus interface to this wierd system at a key supplier using a Cobol Copybook formatted message over TCP/IP that is also SSH encrypted then fine.

    AFAIK, it can't(yet). I am sure that one day it will. A good number of the WS02 devs are ex IBMers who clearly know what they are doing and are doing it in a professional way.

    Where I work, the things that give us the most trouble are the Open Source and be dammed solutions. you know the ones that a PHB had selected without a proper evaluation. You know the ones that work on paper or in the eyes of the salesman. The ones that are a real PITA but because they were the IT Directors personal choice you can't get rid of them yey, the crash and burn almost every day. The ones where you are fed up with pouring over java stack traces.

    Yeah, I'm a bit off on FOSS products that are used where they are clearly not ready for production use.

    I am also a member of my local Linux User Group and write documentation for two FOSS projects that are actually going somewhere.

    1. P. Lee

      Re Meh & Perl

      Your network helpdesk is processing SWIFT transactions at 100/second?

      That's some serious departmental chargeback system you have there!

    2. A J Stiles

      It should be able to

      The only thing keeping Perl, or whatever scripting oanguage you prefer, from interfacing with anything is lack of modules to deal with data formats. This is something that should be considered at the procurement stage: a piece of software is no good if it can't be persuaded to interoperate neatly with everything else.

      I would support legislative intervention to force vendors to document file formats. I firmly believe that the integrity of my data is worth more than some corporation's supposed right to keep secrets from the customers who made them their money in order to keep making more money.

    3. foomatic

      Re Meh & Perl

      "Does Perl handle SWIFT or FX or HL7 formatted messages pretty well OOTB at a rate of 100/second with guraranteed delivery of the results?"

      Let's separate this:

      - SWIFT or FX or HL7. Yes, though the libraries are not AFAIK open source.

      - Out of the box. No. Perl or Python or pick your general purpose programming language is a tool, not a product, there is assembly required.

      - Rate of 100/second. Yes. This is not even a significant rate for message transformation. Interesting starts at 500-1000/second per process depending on the transformation and the transport.

      - Guaranteed delivery. Yes. You want a transactional message system, pick WMQ, AMQP, Tibco EMS.

      The short answer is, "Yes. All day long. I make a living at it." The really short answer is "Hell, yes" :)

  6. russsh

    Been there

    Good idea...that was thought of 10 years ago in the telco world. Have a look at the OSS/J Trouble Ticket API:

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Is it perfect or is it dead? Or is the one I should be using?

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