Working on the BEA Aqualogic Data Services Platform 2.5 (AL-DSP) over the BEA Weblogic 8.1 has widened my imagination of web technology to even more higher levels. It has given me a confidence that I can now say the future of the newly emerging technologies is simply unimaginable. In the earlier few months of this year I was working on JAXB which was a one of a kind object oriented XML parser provided in the JWSDP 2.0 J2EE web services packages by Sun Microsystems. It made me aware how to go about working with XML, XSD and some amount of XPATH.
BEA AL-DSP 2.5 takes it more further ahead by leaps and bounds utilising all the power of XML communication and combines the usage of XML, XSD, XPATH and XQUERY to give a complete package which can be used as a whole new kind of abstraction layer which can amalgamate data from different kind of data sources. The data sources which can be used to collect data in DSP is currently from JDBC sources, Web services, JAVA functions, XML data and Delimited (CSV) formatted data.
A layer of DSP site above the underlying different physical sources and all the developer needs to do is to configure all the different sources into the DSP Workshop IDE and then define the unified data which he wants to retrive and then create functions by which the required elements have to be mapped to the underlying elements. DSP does the complex job of validation, authentication upto the element level and gives a collective unified data which further can provide in the form of plain XML or in the form of web service. The knowledge of XQuery is required in case you want to customize the data returned. Although I have not been able to get the submit function of web service created from the data services working making a read only web service is the game of a single right click !!!
DSP even provides some remarkable features of modelling of the data coming from different sources, generating crystal reports with graphical representation and even direct transfer of data to the BEA Aqualogic Service Bus 2.5 which is an ESB for routing mechanisms. Working with DSP has opened my eyes to a whole new world of information transfer. Gone are the days when I needed to create a JDBC connection and code for the data retrieval process. This is surely fun and extremely fruitfull for a large application having distributed and different data resources.