Friday, December 17, 2010

Pattern Communities

Message Broker patterns are all about creating production ready connectivity solutions. The value of a pattern multiples hugely the more it is shared, and consequently the more it is used. In Message Broker fix pack 2 we added a significant capability to enable pattern communities. You can see some slides that walk through some of this work here.

Now it is worth saying that a community means different things to different people. For some organisations, a community might be private where patterns are created and shared within a development team. In this scenario, patterns offer consistency and time-to-value.

For other organisations, patterns are a way to deliver capability to the market in an easily consumable form. For example, you might want to develop a suite of patterns for a particular industry or technology area.

With this in mind you might be interested in a new global pattern community - has added a pattern community where you can find, download and share patterns. We will be putting some very cool example patterns up over the next few weeks to help get it started. Why Well communities are all about people, and is where the Broker community go to find answers.

One particular thought to leave you with. We are very motivated to make your business succeed. So you might consider uploading a free starter version of your pattern to In your pattern you can very easily include your own branding and links to your web site where the professional and enterprise versions can be purchased.

Pattern Authoring in Message Broker

Almost a year to the day, Message Broker v7 was released. Well it has been a busy year in the development team. One area I particularly wanted to highlight was the work the team has done around patterns.

Broker v7 introduced the first generation of patterns technology to the connectivity world. The v7 release shipped with an extensive set of built-in connectivity patterns. For example putting a web service front end on an existing application is a problem that comes up again and again in the field. Adding a production-ready pattern to the product made perfect sense.

Back in July we shipped Broker fix pack 1. Along with many new features, pattern authoring made its debut. Pattern authoring allows anyone to design, test, debug, package and distribute their own patterns. The patterns are presented in the Pattern Explorer alongside the built-in patterns provided by the product.

This capability has proved to be a big hit with our customers. We have talked to many customers this year who are now using patterns to simplify their development process, get more consistent solutions and to reduce costs.

Yesterday, Broker fix pack 2 was released. Fix packs are the way we release new functionality between our biennial major product releases. In fix pack 2 we have released the third generation of patterns technology. This includes major enhancements to pattern authoring. You can read about the pattern authoring capabilities in this slide show.

Pattern authors can now plug in their own Java and PHP code to their patterns which is called whenever pattern instances are created. Included in this is a major new Java API to programmatically manipulate message flows. You can browse the infocenter here and the new Java and PHP additions are documented here.

A couple of other links to mention. First there is an introductory article on developerWorks for pattern authoring. We also have a web site called the IBM Education Assistant, here you will find lots of short videos showing you how to use many of the features in the product.