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SOA Best Practices Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Andy Thurai, Charles Araujo, Hollis Tibbetts, Pat Romanski

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Making sense of the SuperStream protocols - ebMS v3, AS4 - for Australian Superannuation Processing

When there is an understandable focus on the "new new thing" of REST APIs, it is useful sometimes to take a step back and see that heavy-duty XML-based Web Services are still widely used in business, despite being much less fashionable than REST. Nobody is going to have an "AS4" sticker on their MacBook Pro anytime soon. But this is how much real-life B2B is done - with heavyweight, bulletproof, secure messages. These are an example of APIs also, except using B2B standards not REST. Gartner has predicted that 50% of B2B will use APIs (and that includes ebMS and AS4) by 2016. An example is SuperStream in Australia. Let's look at that in detail:

The Australia Government is leading the way with allowing automation of automatic pension fund contributions using standards like ebMS v3 and AS4, with WS-Security. This will make it much simpler for employers to contribute to employee pension funds, but it also presents implementers with an alphabet soup of standards to understand.

My colleague Peter Stokes has blogged about the technologies used for the 2014 Australian Govt Superannuation Initiative. I'd recommend Peter's blog post to anyone interested in drilling down into the technology, to get a handle on ebMS v3, AS4, and WS-Security, and how they are used here.

In addition, Peter is speaking on a Webinar on Feb 5 on Best Practices for ensuring your Enterprise Architecture is ready for Superstream, along with Ian Gibson from Superchoice. This is a good chance to hear at first hand about how to implement the technology behind SuperStream, and ask questions directly to the experts.

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More Stories By Mark O'Neill

Mark O'Neill is VP Innovation at Axway - API and Identity. Previously he was CTO and co-founder at Vordel, which was acquired by Axway. A regular speaker at industry conferences and a contributor to SOA World Magazine and Cloud Computing Journal, Mark holds a degree in mathematics and psychology from Trinity College Dublin and graduate qualifications in neural network programming from Oxford University.