WSO2Con 2011: Business Activity Monitoring in your SOA Environment - Tharindu Mathew

  • By WSO2Con 2011
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  • 21 Dec, 2011

Connecting BAM and SOA

"Monitoring gets so much more agile when SOA comes into play,” Tharindu said. For this reason, he advised, "You should never ignore the architecture just because you need a monitoring solution. The underlying architecture always matters. It makes it so much more flexible.”

To showcase how a monitoring system coordinates effectively within an SOA, Tharindu reviewed the three layers of WSO2 BAM as an example.

The Aggregation Layer

“Before you monitor a system, you have to capture data, Tharindu noted. Therefore any BAM solution should have an aggregation layer to efficiently store and track data about events. For WSO2 BAM, the default data store is the open source Apache Cassandra database.

You need something that's high performance and really fast,” Tharindu explained. Cassandra is optimized to handle large amounts of data on the scale of Facebook.

Analysis Layer

Businesses need to evaluate the success of their activities. The analysis layer allows users to manipulate data and create key performance indicators (KPIs), which can be used for performance measurement, Tharindu explained.

First, businesses must define specific tasks, since this allows them to manipulate data and carry out custom data operations. "It seems simple, but you need those analysis options,” Tharindu noted.

Analyzer tasks are used to organize the flow of functions, Tharindu said; “Data comes in today and you average it, but what about tomorrow? You need something that runs periodically, some sort of task running to do data operations and analysis.”

It is possible to build KPIs such that they become an inherent part of BAM. Because KPIs are very domain specific, Tharindu advised, “You need to build your own KPIs because everyone has different needs. By building KPIs, you build business intelligence.”

Once KPIs have been built, this data has to be extracted out of the database. In WSO2 BAM, the open source Apache Hadoop software framework pulls the data from Cassandra and supports high analyzer performance.

Presentation Layer

The presentation layer is “the layer that always gets the most hype, because it's where you can start to see your data,” Tharindu noted. He also observed that dashboards are a very popular way to visualize KPIs, and businesses often use custom dashboards to accommodate different users’ specific needs.

However users must also look beyond the dashboard, Tharindu cautioned. “Don’t seek out a dashboard, but rather a framework that will provide the necessary tools for understanding. Get something that will allow you to make sense of your data.”

To learn more about how WSO2 BAM provides a framework for business activity monitoring, view Tharindu’s full presentation here.


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  • WSO2Con 2011
  • Sri Lanka