I thought you might like to hear about the SeeBeyond products, now known collectively as the Sun Java Integration Suite. I'll start with my own beloved product, eView(TM) Studio. eView Studio is actually a platform for building a rather specialized type of application known as a master index. More generally, it falls under a statistical discipline known as record linkage. Suppose you are a telco, with a wireless division, a land line division and an internet service provider. There is a customer called Dave Todd in one, a customer called David Todd in another, and a customer called David Lee Todd in the last one. Do these entities represent the same person?
You use eView Studio to build a master index application that is capable of linking these three records together probabilistically. Once you use the studio to define the object to be indexed ( here a person), it generates a full-blown indexing application, including database tables, a multi-page GUI, and pre-built SQL queries. The heart of it is a "matching engine," a black box that I can only describe as being run by voodoo, that is able to evaluate the individual fields in the various records and decide how well they match on a fuzzy basis. It assigns a higher or lower score depending on the degree of sameness. Pretty slick, I must say.
What does this have to do with business integration? A lot, actually. Once the index has built itself, if the landline system wants to send a message to the wireless system about David Todd, it can send the message through the eView application, where Dave Todd's wireless ID number will be converted to David Todd's landline ID number before the message is sent on to the landline system.
Sun folks, feel free to email me with questions about eView Studio. It's one of my favorite subjects. ;-) I will be giving thumbnail sketches of the other SeeBeyond products from time to time.