webMethods Integration Server Review
Integration Server and Universal messaging create an efficient development phase, enhance agility


What is our primary use case?

I've been developing with SAG webMethods in Telco industries for integrating provisioning (CRM) end-to-end Billing, BSS and OSS, Banks/Insurance/Finance integrating bancassurance, provisioning, Switching&Allocation and Government Instance (Oil and gas) integrating B2B oil company to government reporting.

How has it helped my organization?

Time effective by cutting down development time and resource efficient to developer burden, enhance agility and integration between end-to-end applications, platform

What is most valuable?

The Integration Server

It's obvious that the heart of the product lies here. It's comprised of all aspects of ESB (Enterprise Gateway, Adapter, TN, Java) and BPM (task, rules engine).

Universal Messaging

Universal Messaging is a Message Orientated Middleware product that covers JMS, MQTT, AMQP.

Universal Messaging design supports both broker-based and umTransport communication, and thus comprises client and server components. The server component has specific design features to support each of these classifications of client, as well as Scheduling and Triggers, Plugins, Federation, Clustering, and Low Latency IO.

What needs improvement?

The Java Service section, which is probably needs more different manners for a new developer. It doesn't represent OOP very well, just a method and proprietary interface for input parameter called IData, which consists of Maps (key, value). You can still be creating classes under the shared section of the methods. But also the documentation of webMethods Java API it doesn't cover much clarity for the usage

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

Regarding the Stateful session inbound to ESB (Integration Server). It seems that the Stateful session sometimes doesn't die out when the transaction is finished, but waits until the timeout expires (although quite often it doesn't even died even after timeout expires, which eventually would flooding the server).

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

You have to buy another license for clustering named Terracotta which also had several different license, basically it was acting as a multicast and a cache, so if one of your node is processing something it would write into Terracotta, and then the other node would recognize some process going on so it wouldn't try to do the same processes which would be make double transaction for instance. It also can be use for data cache so you could have better performance fetching frequently data called rather than query it somewhere else e.g Database or REST Resources

How is customer service and technical support?

Around 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. They don't help much enough actually, if there's any bug we have to wait for another patching rather than get emergency help

Which solutions did we use previously?

No, they won the PoC in the beginning. And mentioned as Leader in Gartner

How was the initial setup?

Quite complex in setting up the BPM environment, the UDDI service (Centrasite), and also the API Management. But nonetheless there's documentation for each product 

What about the implementation team?

I've been in vendor/consultant so I have enough experience to do it my own in-house.

What was our ROI?

I never done the accounting, I'm an engineer 🙃

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

I suppose webMethods aim for large-scale enterprises which is why the price is high, but with high output and better outcomes.

Some of the licensing is "component-ized," which is confusing to new users/customers.

Yet you can also choose between perpetual or periodically terms, in case you do not want to be bothered to buy another version once the newer version released you should consider periodic license.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

Yes, TIBCO (was good enough IMHO) and Oracle Fusion Middleware (it's quite complicated IMHO).

What other advice do I have?

I have to say that all SoftwareAG products are tightly proprietary, which means you can't just download and install for study purposes or to play around with them. You have to call their partner/product representative just to download the trial, which is quite different from their competitors. That makes the product unfamiliar to mid-low enterprises.

Also, their products are "componentized" in terms of licensing and tightly coupled, which means that some components may be licensed while some are a prerequisite to other components. So it could be that you have to buy two to get one and a half (pretty amazing isn't). But overall it is a great product.

Another thing is that made me bit upset was that the certification/training in South East Asia (which is my region) is not "individual friendly," meaning that if you want to get developer certified, you have to join to one of their partner companies or bulk order.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.

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