Connect Apache OFBiz with the Real World
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A full-stack framework for rapid business application development. It has Entity Engine for the data layer (imagine something like iBATIS and Hibernate combined). It is the same entity engine that powers millions of Attlasian Jira instances. But don't get me wrong, it is not meant for usage outside of OFBiz framework, so use it only as OFBiz data layer.
Service Engine - this might be hard to grasp for someone only with DDD background, but OFBiz doesn't have any domain objects. Instead for the service layer it uses SOA and has thousands of services that contains the business logic. A service is an atomic bit of isolated business logic, usually reading and updating the database. If you need you can make services triggering each other using ECAs(event-condition-action) which is kind of rule engine that allows define pre/post conditions for triggering other service calls when a service is executed. The service itself can be written written in java, groovy or simple language (an XML DSL for simple database manipulation) and usually requires authentication, authorisation and finally executed in a transaction.
UI widgets - an XML DSL which allows you easily create complex pages with tables, forms and trees.
And the really great thing about this framework is that 'The whole is greater than the sum of its parts' - all of the above layers works together amazingly: if you have an entity definition (a table) in your data layer, you can use it in your service layer during your service interface definition or its implementation. It takes one line of code(a long one) to create a service which has as input parameters the table columns and return the primary key as result of the service. Then if you are creating a screen with tables or forms, you can base it on your entity definitions or service definitions. It is again only few lines of code to create a form with fields mapping to a service or entity fields.
Out of the box business applications. These are vertical applications for managing the full life cycle of a business domain like ordering, accounting, manufacturing and many more in a horizontally integrated manner. So creating an order from order or ecommerce application will interact with facility to check whether a product is available, and after the order is created will create accounting transaction in accounting application. Before the order is shipped from the facility, it will create invoices and once the invoice is paid, it will close the order. You get the idea.
The routing framework which can be defined using java, scala, xml DSL with all the EIPs like Pipe, Filter, Router, Splitter, Aggregator, Throttler, Normalizer and many more.
Components and transformers ie all the different connectors to more than 100 different applications and protocols like: AMQP, AWS, web services, REST, MongoDB, Twitter, Websocket, you name it.
If you can imagine a tool, that enables you to consume data from one system, then manipulate the data (transform, filter, split, aggregate) and send it to other systems, using a declarative, concise, English-like DSL without any boilerplate code - that's Apache Camel.
If you are wondering: why is it so great, what is an endpoint, where is the real world, who is gonna win Euro2012... have a look at the complete list of available Camel components, and you will find out the answer.
The integration between OFBiz and Camel is achieved by running Camel in an OFBiz container as part of the OFBiz framework. This makes quite tight integration, but ensures that there will not be any http, rmi or any other overhead in between. It is still WIP and may change totally.
PS: I'm looking forward to hear your real world integration requirements for OFBiz.
Published at DZone with permission of Bilgin Ibryam, DZone MVB. See the original article here.
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