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B2B Middleware refers a translation layer between multiple applications incorporating disparate technologies. It is usually a suite of tools, services, and adapters geared toward application integration. These including message-oriented middleware and database middleware. B2B Middleware data and systems require multiple points of access and integration One of the most popular forms of B2B Middleware is the Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) or “ESB engine.”
B2B Middleware’s job is to route data from an organization’s business applications to the applications of business partners such as customers, vendor/suppliers or financial institutions. The source system data might download via an Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system, a securities trading platform or any type of Operations Department system. These could be on-premises, in the cloud or in a hybrid or multi-cloud environment. Data would then be extracted using an API or other specialized middleware supplied by the enterprise.
IT Central Station experts prefer that extracted data be correctly formatted to then be shared among other systems or system partners. Flexibility and power are top of mind when deciding on typical standard formats such as Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) or XML, and each one has specific variants specific to particular vertical industries, e.g. ACORD XML for insurance companies.
IT Central Station users possess significant technical knowledge of their unique enterprise systems, business processes, and requirements. When looking for an agile B2B Middleware system, every piece must integrate and operate according to IT requirements. Add-ons may be necessary to cover the full demands scope for infrastructure provisions, configuration, software installation and additional development. Bespoke B2B Middleware solutions require a commitment of human and technical resources, especially when taking into account security, flexibility and compliance. Many IT Central Station users prefer off-the- shelf solutions or well-understood open source frameworks as a way to avoid a completely bespoke situation.
Business-to-Business Middleware Reviews
Read top reviews of Business-to-Business Middleware solutions from the IT Central Station community:
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The product has a small footprint on our system. We don't use a lot of clients. They're very knowledgeable of MQ, which we use. It's what we use for monitoring our MQ system, so the features that they provide are just really, really good.
The product itself is very sound and Avada has done a great job of anticipating customer needs and keeping up with new MQ functionality. However, one area where they could improve is with their documentation. Some sections are not up to date... more»
One of the most valuable features in IBM Sterling B2B Integrator would be the ease of self-service. We previously had a competitor for our file transfer and IBM Sterling B2B Integrator is what we have migrated to. It makes transparency into the transactions a lot better than our old legacy product. There are a lot more self-service options, especially with File... more»
The breadth of APIs is something that I would like to see improved. At a recent IBM conference, I was going to a hands-on lab about the APIs and the Sterling solution, and I would love to see them expand upon that. We use IBM Control Center and they have a lot of work to do with their APIs. You can't make a single call to get all the information you want on a... more»
MuleSoft offers with the Anypoint Platform a unified platform for API management and an integration Platform as a Service (iPaaS) as well as an on-premise Enterprise Service Bus pattern. The iPaaS and API management are offered on CloudHub,... more»
MuleSoft's release calendar is rather conventional with two major, two minor releases and hotfixes in between. The competition sometimes offer more rapid release cycles and provides improved and new functionality with a faster time-to-market.
One way it's helped the business is how you're able to empower MQ users, without your administrators, to be able to do different types of processes in the environment. It has user group privileges that allow you to set up security roles in... more»
Some of the graphics in the interface could be improved. It's pretty basic. Some interfaces are not up to what you're used to seeing on other, more Windows-like tools. I don't think it's a bad thing, but that might be an area where I would... more»
Both data transmission and data transformation are the two very, very critical features of this application. We use a Sterling B2B Integrator file transfer management solution; a B2B solution, or like an EDI solution. As a pharma company, we... more»
When it comes to data transformation, it's very flexible. It allows us to convert from any format to any format, such as from CSV to XML, or flat file to positional, or whatever. And the fact that it supports a good number of communication... more»
I would like more visibility, because IBM has partnered with other companies that sell frameworks. So I thought if IBM can invest more on providing that visibility, having us install a third-party framework, would be a nice feature that IBM... more»
There are a couple of issues which could be improved. One is the outcome of the ITXA integration on installation. We need better visibility around code lists. There is the handling of code lists and API calls to support partial update of any... more»
We're using this product for managed file transfer. This gives you the ability to isolate a source system and a target system. You stick a Sterling managed file transfer in the middle, which allows you to deploy that isolation. It gives you... more»
The key features that you would expect from the solution are: * The communications and the protocols: The communication is very critical for any B2B product, especially for EDI commerce activities. * The protocols and standards that are... more»
The benefits are in terms of the two most critical sides of the business: the buy side and the sell side. This has become the de facto standard. It helps in the supply chain optimization problems. There are still a lot of customers who still... more»
There have been a couple of issues that we have raised in terms of scalability and high availability. IBM has responded back with the next-generation product and new features like the global mailbox and a couple of other things, which are... more»
The business processes are the most valuable features. We were using FTP before. We are migrating to Sterling MFT. We are doing some modifications to send and receive files, and we are managing them with business processes.
Sterling B2B Integrator is a managed file transfer program. Beforehand, we were using FTP and each FTP server was standalone, not controlled by any management facility. Now we have migrated to Sterling B2B Integrator and we have Control... more»
It doesn't support the Turkish language now. They said they will support Turkish in the new release, so we are waiting. It's a problem now because we are opening this product to our customers, not only internal users. For internal users,... more»
One of the most valuable aspects of this solution is that it's a "consolidated" suite of communication protocols, offerings, data transformation and back-end application integration. It allows me to implement one solution, communicate with... more»
It's a very good solution, but there's also room for improvement to make it easier and a little more user friendly. It's still more of a toolbox in a way. It's got a lot of components that you have to configure, which is great because it... more»
* Ability to have one system that can handle any protocol: One of the strongest features * No need to have multiple systems for different types of communication protocols * The software can run on any platform: Makes it very flexible
We minimized our complexity and decreased the number of systems to communicate with our partners. These are the biggest advantages that yield cost savings. Everything now is centralized. This platform is the gate to our suppliers and customers.
* The interface and logging of messages could be more simplified. Everything is in Java and uses hash codes or UUID codes. This sometimes makes it very hard to know what has happened or what issue you might have. * They could fix their... more»
It has a very powerful dashboard interface and as well has very powerful business orchestration built into the tool. It's one, central information exchange - that was the need of our business, we are a managed service for the translation of... more»
The real benefits are the out-of-the-box capabilities of IBM's healthcare package with an option to customize the maps. The out-of-the-box capabilities cover 90% of your business requirements. Also, it gives you clear direction on how to... more»
I would like if they would expose some of the traffic patterns and status state information in the control center; also, to send state information to some of the trading partners as well. And some of the features we would like to see are with... more»
With Sterling Integrator, as it comes out of the box, there's not a lot of things that have been developed. A lot of it you have to develop yourself with BPML, and developing of APIs and things like that for web solutions and front end. So I... more»
It's a very flexible product. It's stable and it's been around for many, many years. We were a Gentran NT user previously. We moved over to Sterling Integrator and we are very happy with the translation part of it. We don't use it for... more»
It helps us to consolidate multiple divisions into one Electronic Data Interchange (EDI) source. We had multiple EDI teams at one point on the mainframe and we converted them all into one single center of excellence for Sterling Integrator... more»
I think probably the envelope setups are a little complicated and cumbersome. There are a lot of pages to go through. I know there's ITXA, a new product that came out that should help with that but maybe they can use some of that knowledge... more»
The IBM B2B Integrator is going to be a middleware point of contact for us. It's helping us in terms of file transfer communication. There is a file gateway, which is built on B2B Integrator, which allows us to build out some custom protocols based on our requirements. That would be any of the use cases; FTP, SFTP, S2 and all kinds of communications. I believe... more»
There's a lot still to be improved in the component, as there are many challenges in terms of B2B tools. One of the challenges was on the Sterling side, since I love to have translations with XLS. So, if you have a Word document and an XLS file, then there is no conversion right now, which is a standard way of doing it. It's not happening anywhere in the world,... more»
It has a number of different components that can fit together. People can use it partially or fully. It also integrates with some of the mounting tools like IBM Transformation Extender and it's a B2B Gateway rather than just a BDI translator.
They've modernized the solution recently and added some things where BDI translators have been around for a long time, and they've added things like advanced coms and global mailboxing to make it much more real-time with higher availability.... more»
I think it needs some additional things like visibility. That's why we look to partners who provide that kind of visibility and I think that's something that could be changed. The product is stable but I think there are some things that they... more»
The whole WTX suite is the most valuable to me. Every single feature of this product is unique, highly flexible, and scalable for the user's needs. Some examples are: * Type trees where we define the formats * WTX maps where we define the... more»
I used this product in one of the top five global banks, where the application was built on the WTX suite. This suite was acting as a payment engine connecting the front-end and back-end applications. The amount of volume that it handled was... more»
The product has all capabilities that is required for conversion/translation that can run in distributed environment. One thing, missing is marketing and awareness among the industry to use this product. IBM should bring awareness and promote... more»
The ease-of-use is absolutely amazing. What I mean is that even if you’ve never worked with their software before, it’s very easy to understand and start working with it and move on to more complex things. The ability to design and create... more»
A big improvement was that this platform allowed us to move away from paper data transfer to digital, even with partners who are not EDI ready. This occurred through the use of a partner portal that made the data easily available to them in a... more»
Nothing comes to mind at the moment. I would describe it as a very robust solution which is oriented towards ease-of-use. It has small bugs, like any other software, but constant patches and feature add-ons are taking care of that.
Some of the most valuable features we use include group and role management functions. These allow us to provision access to various development and support groups across the middleware estate. This provides a more transparent view into our... more»
With the use of the packaged MQ explorer eclipse thick client, there was a significant amount of time spent configuring each local installation and making sure environmental settings were individually validated to provision each client's... more»
For us, we've basically outsourced the onboarding and translation of all of our electronic data interchange (EDI) with our customers. We've got a lot of trading partners. The value that they talked about bringing forth is that IBM has a lot... more»
We're looking for analytics to try to predict when customers have issues on their side. If a customer traditionally would send records through on certain volumes on certain days and there's an interruption in that volume, we want IBM to tell... more»
Senior Systems Architect, Developer, Consultant for the following companies:
• American Express
• Commercial Union Insurance
• ConEdison of New York
• General Motors
• JP Morgan
• Lockheed Martin
• Manufacturers Hanover Trust / Chemical Bank
• Mars Inc.
• Merrill... more>>
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