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Manager of Integration Services at a educational organization with 10,001+ employees
Real User
Top 20
Highly customizable, stable, scales well, and has good support
Pros and Cons
  • "This solution's adaptability to our use case has helped us integrate our systems seamlessly."
  • "Red Hat is not easy to learn. You can learn it but you sometimes need external expertise to implement solutions."

What is our primary use case?

We use Red Hat Fuse in conjunction with ActiveMQ as our healthcare integration platform. Our electronic medical records (EMR) system is called Epic, and we have to send information from it to all of our ancillary systems. The process is that we take the data coming from Epic and we send it to the downstream apps, for example, to the radiology lab. As an overview, it can be thought of as a hub and spoke model.

The EMR sits in the middle, like the center of the universe. We have the Fuse interface and we also have APIM, both of which take information that is coming from EMR. Surrounding these are approximately 140 applications, all receiving data from these systems. We categorize these as lab, radiology, pharmacy, and materials management.

A lot of these apps need demographic information. For instance, a patient logs into the system and needs a demographics update. This is one of the purposes that the system serves.

It's a well-integrated platform and without the Fuse interface engine, Epic cannot talk to the downstream, ancillary systems.

How has it helped my organization?

This solution's adaptability to our use case has helped us integrate our systems seamlessly.

Functionality-wise, the workflow has become more automated. When something is ordered within electronic medical records, it's easily available in the ancillary systems. When the results are in the ancillary systems, they can appear in electronic medical systems. It's one integrated system.

From a workflow perspective, it's very quick and efficient. Doctors and physicians can see their notes, documents, and all of the information they need. The interface engine sitting in the middle makes that possible.

What is most valuable?

Fuse has a lot of capabilities that we use.

There is an open-source package within Fuse called Camel, which allows you to build interface routes with a programming language using Camel extensions. We use Java as our coding language and there are open-source integration patterns included. Fuse makes the integration much easier to do.

This product is adaptable and scalable because of the DevOps features. In our environment, DevOps made it easy to adapt and we were able to customize a lot of things for our use case.

What needs improvement?

The current solution depends heavily on fabric profiles, which we want to disconnect from and be more containerized. This is why we are implementing Kubernetes, whereas now, it is Karaf-based.

The initial setup and configuration could be more straightforward.

Red Hat is not easy to learn. You can learn it but you sometimes need external expertise to implement solutions.

For how long have I used the solution?

We began using Red Hat Fuse in late 2017 or early 2018.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

This is a very stable solution. We have been on this product for about four years, and it's been pretty stable over that time. The upgrades have been great and the rollups that I've installed have been pretty stable. We do the server patching and that's been pretty stable, as well. We have 99.999% availability of our interface engine.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

This is a pretty scalable solution. We have had probably 5,200 interface integrations that we added to Red Hat Fuse. We have been doing that continuously and throughout, it has been very stable. We didn't have to do anything extra because we had configured the solution to be optimal for growth. If it grows to 100 interfaces, we can keep adding to it.

Overall, it is pretty stable and scalable.

How are customer service and support?

Their technical support is great. They have a ticket process where you put in a ticket and then they provide solutions based on the priority of the ticket.

We paid for a Red Hat technical account manager from the start. Having that kind of expertise helped us and I would rate their support a nine out of ten. They are very cognizant of their products. They understand their product and with their expertise, they have helped us resolve issues pretty fast.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

Prior to Red Hat Fuse, we were on an Oracle product called Java CAPS. The CAPS solution was not stable at that point. The support was terrible with Oracle because they didn't want to support it anymore.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was not straightforward, because of the dependencies that it needed and all of the things that we wanted to do with it. We as a team were learning the product, and we had contractors to assist us.

Once it was set up, learning the product took approximately six months. Adapting it and customizing it to our solution was complete within six months and then we started implementing the product.

What about the implementation team?

We didn't have too much time to implement this product. We had a very short runway so we needed the expertise of a third-party contractor to get it implemented. We hired Spico Consulting, and their experts had experience in Red Hat Fuse. There was one consultant in particular who had done work in this space.

They stepped in and helped us build the framework, and the framework helped us to get things working much faster. We only had six months for the framework, then the next year and a half was needed to implement, integrate, and migrate to the new solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

Pricing has been something that we have been working with Red Hat on, year over year. We have preferred pricing with the university because we are involved in education and research. Something that we are trying to negotiate with Red Hat is that we need to have pricing that is stable and appropriate for an education and research environment. We want to make sure that we get the discounts that are for state education and research organizations.

We've been negotiating that deal with them and this year, we are hoping to get more discounts available for an education/research facility.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

As Oracle was sunsetting Java CAPS, they were actively trying to sell their own middleware, which was not a great product, from my perspective. We didn't go to that product. We decided to move to Red Hat because it was something we envisioned that we would be happy with.

There were other products that we evaluated. For example, Orion has the Rhapsody Integration Engine, which we looked at but didn't want to move to a JavaScript-based product. That would have locked us into that vendor.

We could always go to another e-integration platform that's not Red Hat Fuse because this is an open-source technology. If you lock into a vendor and the price increases for their support, then you are stuck paying the higher prices. Therefore, we needed the open-source technology in-house.

Another one we looked at was the Ensemble Integration Engine from InterSystems. There were a total of four or five that we evaluated and ultimately, we decided that Red Hat Fuse fit the bill.

As we transitioned to Red Hat Fuse, we wanted to keep Java as our expertise. We had developers who knew Java, programmed in Java, and wanted to continue with Java. This is one of the reasons that we chose to switch to Fuse, and we are very happy with it now.

What other advice do I have?

One of the things that we're planning to do is use Red Hat OpenShift for cloud availability because we want to take our platform to the cloud at some point in the future. We want to have more redundancy on the backend and doing so will also help us with high availability. Currently, we have almost 99.999%, but 100% is desired.

My advice for anybody who is implementing Red Hat Fuse is to have an expert SME from outside of the organization, who has done the job. When you run into roadblocks such as bugs, you want to make sure that you have that support.

If you compare other products from an open-source perspective, I would say Red Hat fits that bill. They have a lot of developers who contribute to the open-source community and it has helped us to stay on the cutting edge. It is beneficial to have open-source contributions to our solution.

If the solution is not open-source then a company will lock itself into a vendor. That means that they will get locked into pricing that only the vendor can control, versus when you have a solution that is open-source, you can always go to other competitors. That's one very big advantage.

Red Hat has good education packages and my developers can take advantage of that. We have a subscription for learning. Plus, when you have an open-source package, you are not bound by the vendors' learning resources. You can always research outside by going to the community and doing your own research. The advantage is that you are taking your questions and you are posting them out in the community and getting those answers. Sometimes, you are contributing to the community in the process.

I feel that there is more knowledge, outside of the vendors, that gets restricted. If you want IBM, then you're just focused on IBM's community. When you are outside of that, you have a bigger open-source community that helps answer your questions. There's a definite advantage to having an open-source product.

In summary, this is a great product that is scalable, stable, highly available, and has a good help desk. These are the reasons that Red Hat has been a very good solution for us and we have no complaints.

I would rate this solution a nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: PeerSpot contacted the reviewer to collect the review and to validate authenticity. The reviewer was referred by the vendor, but the review is not subject to editing or approval by the vendor.
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PaulPerez
Integration Architect at Pymma consulting
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Enables us to define the business process and integrate it with other software
Pros and Cons
  • "The core is very stable."
  • "The documentation needs to be better."

What is our primary use case?

Our customer is usually a government organization (who works for a confidential employer), and I work with the job center department of the government, the region of the government of Galicia, Spain. They use this product to define services relating to the unemployment problem. For example, training compensation, taxes, how to search for jobs and social security covering for unemployed people. 

Mainly, I define the business process and integrate it with other software, such as Database and Legacy. Then from Java, we publish microservices or web services for the end-user. 

The website is mainly for unemployed people. They connect to the website and use the services through the web interface.

Unfortunately, due to COVID-19, there were a lot of unemployed people so a few million people started using it. It was very interesting to see this product, which is designed for roughly 200,000 people, to handle this dramatic increase in requirements. Millions of people were connecting every month on the system and there were no issues.

What needs improvement?

The documentation needs to be better — maybe they could add more accurate tutorials. However, since I have been working with the product for a long time, it is not a big concern for me, but for the new generation, this could be a problem. Also, the launch took a while, but once we understood the concept of interface services, it became really powerful.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

There are three key components: the development tool, the component and the core. The core is very stable. Sometimes we get bugs on the component, one day the community reported six cases. I find the development tools more annoying than anything. There are some bugs, I don't block them, but they can be annoying. 

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

The scalability is very good. Two years ago I worked in the Philippines and we processed one billion messages per day. There were no problems.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have contacted them before. Mainly, when we have a bug we just send it to the community. I know the people at technical support and it's very rare that we get bugs that we are not able to fix. 

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

I used to work with Integration Bus. What is interesting is that the two products were made mainly by the same team, but OpenESB is lighter, you can run it on a simple GBM. It's lighter and has quite a few resources, no application server, and no database. This provides you with more intelligence because there is some kind of friction in the routing service, and you can play with that friction to provide some connection policy, like the last deployed policy. For example, if you were to install version one, and afterward, you deployed version two, automatically — if you decided that your connection will be the right deployed connection — you would be routed to the last version. If it doesn't work, you would just need to redeploy version one.

Also, there are higher-level concepts, such as the interface of services, which allows you to define your interface and choose the method of implementation, like Java for example. On the other hand, with OpenESB, I am more connected. At the monitoring level, you can trust the level and replay the process, which is interesting, but because you have to store everything on the database, you have a conventional system that makes your system require more resources.

The push ability to extract data from the process and then publish it in the data container is very interesting. For example, by using a database like Google's big data analytic search, you can create your own analytics from the data in your process without disturbing the process. 

How was the initial setup?

You can install OpenESB in less than an hour. It's very light, with only three to four components to install. I think one hour maximum is all you need to install OpenESB; however, I am not talking about deployment on the cloud or under which instances you choose to run it. When you install it, you also have to install three or four libraries but I think they have issued a new version that starts automatically within the pre-install version, and that one can run directly.

You don't need to be a technical person to install OpenEBS. There is nothing to do, it's all graphical. You do it through a console, but the person who is installing it must understand what they are doing. In most cases, you just have to deploy two libraries and some components. So, you don't need to be a technical person to install it, but you do to run it. 

The deployment of the application takes only five minutes. As it is unzipping, just set up the Java and that's it.

We do our own maintenance. Right now, we have four people that do it; however, when certain components need maintenance, such as the HS7 component, different people maintain it. 

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

There are two versions. The first is the community version, which is free and contains the last part of the feature, but if you want to get the Enterprise version, you'll have to pay €60,000 which covers support and two instances on production.

To clarify, with Enterprise, you're not paying for the license, you just pay for the support and you get the right to use the Enterprise version.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We evaluated three products in total: OpenESB, Oracle, and WSO2. Oracle was too easy and too expensive and WSO2 didn't support it because we wanted to have a simple process. We need a VPN antenna. 

What other advice do I have?

I know the product well, the community has been managing the product for the last 10 years. Because the product comes from Sun Microsystems, it has been given to the community.They have made some improvements during the past years and now the product is lighter, it's very nice.

If you're interested in using OpenESB, I would advise you to contact the people of the community because it's a good tool to get information on OpenEBS. They will provide you with tutorials, additional documentation and they reply. So, connect to the community for support because if you try to do it alone, OpenESB can be quite tricky. 

I would give OpenESB a rating of eight to nine out of 10. I am not giving them a 10 because there are too many faults in regards to documentation. 

Every part of the product is documented, but finding the right one is difficult. Documentation is the main reason why you should contact the community, I think it's the most important reason. There is a special forum in the community to discuss this issue, but you'll have to find them.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partner
Senior Manager Enterprise Integration and Order Management at a comms service provider with 5,001-10,000 employees
Real User
Top 5Leaderboard
Excellent for standardizing integration layers and very stable with good technical support
Pros and Cons
  • "The solution is very stable."
  • "If TIBCO could be able to sort the size of their base image in the Container edition, it would be really marvelous. Right now it's around 299 MB. We'd really want it to reduce to a few MBs."

What is our primary use case?

We primarily use the solution as a middleware for exposing APIs so that one app can talk to another in separate application via APIs. 

What is most valuable?

There are so many valuable features on the solution, there's almost too many to list.

What needs improvement?

If TIBCO could be able to sort the size of their base image in the Container edition, it would be really marvelous. Right now it's around 299 MB. We'd really want it to reduce to a few MBs.

TIBCO needs to improve its monitoring capability to be able to make use of alerts and to be able to have an alert threshold. For example, if there is an API, if it encounters a given number of errors or long response times, it could send an alert to a configured list of users either via email or SMS.

The solution needs to have cloud integration. There should be continuous integration and continuous deployment of new features.

For how long have I used the solution?

We've been using the solution for six years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

The solution is very stable.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

I believe the solution is scalable. With the Container edition, even with the non-containerized edition, depending on your architecture, and how you write your code, it's very scalable.

Currently, we have about 10 users as a support team. TIBCO is an integration layer, not really a place where users can log on and do transactions or approvals. It's not the type of technology that has a large user base.

We do plan to increase usage in the future. There are so many new integration use cases that we want to use on TIBCO. 

How are customer service and technical support?

The technical support offered by TIBCO is perfect. I don't think we have faced any issues when dealing with TIBCO support. Each time we raise a ticket and put the correct classification, they normally respond by SMS. We've been satisfied with the level of support we've received.

Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?

In the past, we tried using Oracle OSB. I don't think we'll go back and use them again. TIBCO has proven to be far superior. We didn't switch to TIBCO. What we wanted to do is to explore what Oracle had to offer. We later realized that the capabilities that TIBCO had were far, far superior to what Oracle was able to offer so we chose TIBCO instead.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was very straightforward. There was no complexity in the implementation. Deployment takes a maximum of one to two weeks.

The last time we implemented the solution, we were installing certain components and adding in hot fixes.

What other advice do I have?

We're users as well as consultants of the product.

Although we currently use the on-premises deployment model, right now, we are also exploring the possibility of having the service deployed in some hybrid form of the cloud. That's still on a theoretical basis. Nothing substantive has been done yet.

I would recommend the solution to any other organization which is interested in standardizing their integration layer. To me, this solution has really served the requirements we had with respect to enterprise integration.

I'd rate the solution nine out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
Steven Lien
Solution Consulting Director at PCCW
Consultant
Top 20
Good API integration and support from Lab Services, but migrating to this solution is complex
Pros and Cons
  • "The most valuable feature is the API integration."
  • "Migrating to this solution is complex and it would be helpful if they had a way to convert existing integrations."

What is our primary use case?

We are a solution provider and this is one of the products that we implement for our clients. Usually, they want to use this for consolidating the services. It is used to integrate their core insurance systems with the rest of the environment.

How has it helped my organization?

We try to enable this kind of service-oriented architecture (SOA) to assist our clients with consolidating all of their services.

What is most valuable?

The most valuable feature is the API integration.

What needs improvement?

The integration is difficult to manage.

Migrating to this solution is complex and it would be helpful if they had a way to convert existing integrations.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using IBM Integration Bus for more than three years.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

From a scalability point of view, I think that this product is good.

I would say that it is good for an enterprise-level customer.

How are customer service and technical support?

We receive our technical support through an IBM partner in Taiwan. However, developing this kind of project required asking for assistance from the IBM Lab Services. Without Lab Services, our support would not have been as strong.

How was the initial setup?

Migrating to this solution is complicated and not simple to do if they already have API integration between systems.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We also work with TIBCO and Oracle ESB solutions. We find that our customers have had a good experience with them and there is always a lot of interest in these two products.

What other advice do I have?

IBM Integration Bus is a good product and I would recommend it for enterprise customers.

I would rate this solution a six out of ten.

Which deployment model are you using for this solution?

On-premises
Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Integrator
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