Reactivity Breaks XML Message Barrier

Reactivity said it has created new software that improves the way large
chunks of XML-based messages are processed on computer networks.

Using a new technological conjuring it calls multi-mode message processing,
the software breaks a large XML message barrier, allowing
unlimited operations on XML messages of any size. The technology does not
impinge security or system efficiency.

The upgrade, which will come in the company’s XML firewall gateway
appliances going forward, is designed to drive XML-based Web services
throughout computer systems.

This is a key value proposition at a time when C-level executives are asking
their IT developers to craft service-oriented architectures (SOAs)
that improve computing efficiency. Optimizing hardware and
software for Web services delivery has been a challenge Reactivity and
rivals DataPower, Forum Systems and Layer 7 have been racing to tackle.

Reactivity Vice President Joelle Kaufman said the software draws on the
company’s architecture that combines memory, standard and custom ASICs
and RAID disk.

Multi-mode technology makes it possible for multiple processing mechanisms,
including those from disks, networks and in-memory message processing to

“The problem is, messages that get large or sent over different protocols
often can’t be streamed into memory, so you need another mechanism,” Kaufman

Accordingly, the new multi-mode software has such perks as store-and-forward
processing of XML messages, creating more possibilities for SOAP
messages with large attachments and batch XML. Users can spool
the entire message from the disk and process it according to policies that
need to be enforce.

When it is enforced, it can be sent on to its next point, providing security
and interoperability of a message of any size. Store and forward is suited
for XML messages as large as two to four gigabits, and messages with large
attachments such as maps, images and reports.

Reactivity rivals are also trying to optimize XML message transfer across
networks. In March, DataPower announced full streaming XML processing in its
DataPower XA35 XML Accelerator.

Streaming processing allows an XML engine to begin producing output before
the entire input has been parsed and requires only a constant amount of
memory, regardless of XML document size. Previously, streaming processing
was only possible using custom programming or special languages.

ZapThink analyst Ronald Schmelzer said it is good to see performance
challenges around the use of XML-based Web Services getting addressed, with
companies like Reactivity realizing that XML is just one piece of the
overall content and application-oriented networking problem.

“What makes Reactivity’s solution remarkable is that they realize that
companies need the flexibility to deal with (highly
inefficient) XML traffic in a number of different ways and with different
optimization, down to the individual message level,” Schmelzer said.

“This is an area that (so far) companies like Cisco have yet to even offer
product. As such, Reactivity is really filling a needed market need.”

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