Monday, July 20, 2009

Frequent XML Gateway Uses

XML Gateways are becoming standard in enterprise SOA deployments with the following common themes:

  1. Identity mediation is the first step for the majority of SOA Deployments. Identities come in may shapes and sizes represented at both the protocol level (e.g., HTTP Basic Auth, SSL Mutual Auth) and message level (WS-Security tokens X.509, SAML, etc.). Even if an enterprise successfully standardizes on a single identity representation, it cannot dictate how it's trading partners should represent its identities. Thus, inditites need to be accepted in many forms and changed to a single internal representation - that is if everyone within an organization can agree to a standardized representation. Most likely, even internally, more than one identity representation exists.
  2. XML Firewalling is essential to ensure that information is checked before it makes it to the back end application server. The XML should be clean so that the backend server can safely process the message. Even more significant is the need to ensure that the SOA Gateway checks for information leaking from the corporation. This includes preventing sensitive information such as Credit Card Holder information from being compromised, as mandated by the PCI Security Standards Council.
  3. Data Integrity and Privacy using content based signatures and encryption ensures that the message is not tampered with and that any part of the message can be encrypted granularly using standards such as WS-Security.
Other items such as Data Mediation, enrichment, transformation and archiving are also commonly enabled in a XML Gateway deployment.

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