Integration is Key

By Osman Mazhar  |  Posted 2009-04-10 Print this article Print

When the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society upgraded its fund-raising systems and infrastructure, it experienced a tremendous boost in both site performance and user satisfaction.

To integrate the front-end applications with the back-end services, we evaluated a handful of enterprise service bus technologies and chose Mule, an open source ESB. Our primary concern was to find a flexible choice that could adapt to the existing infrastructure—specifically broad support for multiple protocols and strong integration with the Spring framework, which is used throughout LLS.

LLS has an IT policy of using open source technology where possible, to get the best bang for the buck. With strong user adoption and a robust developer community, along with industry analyst recommendations, Mule was the clear choice.

With our commitment to open source technologies, we find that having subscription-based support for those products is essential because we’re using mission-critical systems to handle significant amounts of money.

Given our performance and reliability requirements, our team chose to develop on Mule Enterprise, the MuleSource-supported version of Mule, which includes features for enterprise production deployment, along with an additional layer of professional quality assurance. The subscription to Mule Enterprise also includes 24/7 access to MuleSource’s technical support services and monitoring tool Mule HQ, which helps us maximize productivity and minimize downtime.

We had an aggressive three-month timeline to complete our project, so we had to make sure that the architecture and design was right the first time. To ensure that we were applying architectural best practices and to lower our technical risks, we decided to bring in MuleSource consulting as an extension of the LLS team, helping us perform a full design review with architectural recommendations over a two-week period. Working with the consultants, we focused only on high-value activities, learning about exception handling and failover, performance tuning and testing.

Osman Mazhar is chief architect for The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.

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