February 24, 2004 InterSystems Corporation introduced a Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) framework that provides prebuilt components for automating real-time activity monitoring and reporting for integration projects. The BAM framework is a major enhancement to InterSystems' recently launched Ensemble rapid integration platform.
"Ensemble entered the market a few months ago with full support for building BAM solutions," says InterSystems Vice President of Strategic Planning Paul Grabscheid. "It includes a high-performance, extremely scalable object database that stores metadata, messages and process state information, and provides real-time access for auditing and BAM. With the new framework, we've taken BAM further with visual dashboards and Business Metric Services that dramatically reduce the time needed to build and deploy BAM for even extremely complex integration projects.
"We're seeing a trend among large organizations to fully leverage core information assets enterprise-wide," says Grabscheid. "This often leads to projects that integrate information stored on a variety of platforms, as well as applications that run on multiple platforms. Ensemble is targeted to meet these integration requirements, and the new framework offers the components needed to make BAM easy to implement and efficient to operate."
Ensemble's BAM framework features prebuilt components for Business Metric Services and Executive Dashboards. As a result, BAM facilities can be built and deployed in a highly automated way to dramatically speed up integration project implementation.
Using Ensemble Business Metric Services, developers specify time intervals for calculating one or more metric values in a variety of ways, including calls to external applications, aggregating and analyzing data from multiple external databases and querying the message warehouse and business processes status information stored within Ensemble.
The metric values provided by a Business Metric Service are placed within high-performance, persistent cache for efficient retrieval. As a result, multiple users can make use of calculated metric values without the expense of recalculation, which occurs only as specified by the developer.
Ensemble's BAM framework also features executive dashboards, each of which is a specialized Web page that provides a real-time, graphical display of the current value of a metric. Each graphical meter is associated with a specific metric property within a Business Metric Service class.
Dashboard meters include prebuilt speedometers, odometers, fuel gauges, light bars, traffic lights, indicator lights, line charts and bar charts. Ensemble also supports development of customized meters, ensuring that information users can receive BAM data in whatever manner is most convenient and easy to interpret. Ensemble dashboards are implemented using standard HTML and structured vector graphics, eliminating lock-in to J2EE or .Net products, and delivering maximum flexibility.
Ensemble's BAM architecture is implemented via three logical layers:
- Event Absorption Layer Handling event collection on an ongoing basis, this architectural layer is implemented with Ensemble's transactional message warehouse. Transactional bit-map indexing technology and the fusion of Ensemble's data and application server enable continuous real-time analysis of the message warehouse.
- Event Processing Layer A set of business metrics, running at scheduled intervals, filtering and analyzing real-time data in the message warehouse in order to calculate key performance indicators (KPIs). The KPIs can be calculated using prebuilt models and templates that include real-time integration with an unlimited number of backend operational systems. Once the KPIs have been calculated, the BAM cache is updated and immediately available to the event delivery and display layer.
- Event Delivery and Display Layer Provides information recipients with device-independent delivery of critical information after the severity and impact of events have been evaluated. Ensemble's BAM dashboards display customizable metrics using real-time standard, Web-based visual components. They work in tandem with all of Ensemble's notification and alert mechanisms (e-mail and pagers, for example) to notify recipients whenever a KPI goes out of range.
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