Demystify and Deploy: IBM Sterling B2B Integrator

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IBM Sterling B2B Integrator Detailed Architecture: Source: IBM Knowledge Center

 

Introduction:

As the world became a global village, Organizations, Business and Industries face more complex challenges in exchanging information. Requirements of Industries like Retail, Supply Chain, Transportation, Banking, Automotive, Warehousing and others for EDI grew more and more complicated and colossal.

The EDI (Electronic Data Interchange) Standards addresses this issue and various EDI Standards were being created since 1970’s.

The simplest definition of EDI is that it is an electronic means of processing paper documents and is a method of transferring electronic data from one computer application to another.

EDI Standards can be proprietary or public and comes as versions and releases. Where versions are new editions and releases are small revisions to the standards.

EDI Standards contains data elements specific to that standard and data elements are stored in data dictionary. Data dictionary provides information about each data elements, like for example (Name, Description, Data Type, Min Length, Max Length, fixed or variable).

Some of the most well know EDI Standards are EDIFACT & TRADACOMS for Retail industry, ANSI X12 for Cross Industry, Rosetta Net for IT Supply Chain, ODETTE for Automotive industry and SWIFT for Banking Industry.

Today IBM Sterling B2Bi is the single most powerful middleware application available in the market that provides all the functionality for your EDI environment. It supports all the EDI Standards and provides you B2B Services and EAI (Enterprise Application Integration) Adapters as well to further extend the connectivity with backend ERP, CRM, BI, Portals, E-Commerce and many more applications.

IBM Sterling B2B Integrator helps you by extending business processes to your trading partners easily and efficiently, giving you a centralized system that makes all your data transfers less complex.

With IBM Sterling B2Bi you can perform any to any transformation (XML, CSV, Fixed length, etc.), electronically exchange and validate documents such as purchase orders, invoices, shipping notices, etc., secure communication channels by using SSL, TLS, STS and PGP. It also support a vast majority of protocols like AS1, AS2, AS3, HTTP, SMTP, FTP, SFTP, SSH, FTPS, Connect:Direct etc.

You can use GPM (Graphics Process Modeler) to create your business processes or you can use the BPML (Business Process Markup Language) as well.

The Business Process Engine inside IBM Sterling B2Bi processes and executes the models you make.

The best thing is, if you have any custom built solution in your organization and you want to connect IBM Sterling B2B integrator with it, then the IBM Sterling B2B Integrator provides you the MESA Developer Studio.

In MESA Developer Studio you can create custom Services or Adapters and can use them to connect to your custom applications.

Regardless of the EDI Standard, Protocol, Applications or web services you use right now in your environment, IBM Sterling B2Bi provides you one complete reliable, scalable and extensive infrastructure solution that you can use to connect with all your trading partners, suppliers, distributor, branches, customers and with your backend applications as well.

 

Deploying IBM Sterling B2Bi:

The IBM Sterling B2Bi comes packaged in a .jar file and is deployed using IIM (IBM Installation Manager). It is written in Java and is application server-independent. It uses EJB adapters to communicate with Application Servers. The core components of IBM Sterling B2Bi are The Mapper, Graphical Process Modeler (GPM), B2B services, EAI adapters, and Web Extensions.

Before you deploy IBM Sterling B2B Integrator in your environment, there are certain design considerations that are required to take in account.

1. Document:

Trading Partners, Suppliers, Branches or Customer requirements.

Identify Protocols and Authentication Mechanisms

Identify Services and Adapters.

Identify Web services (producer or consumer).

Deployment diagram and Infrastructure blueprint design.

2. Security:

DMZ Network or Internal Network, Authentication, Firewall, SSL, TLS, STS, PGP.

3. Disaster Recovery:

Primary and Secondary Site Setup.

4. Clustering:

Failover or Load Balance.

5. Performance:

Resource Allocation, User Load Estimation, Database Tuning, Number of Business Processes, Transactions processed and Data being processed.

After working on all the items above you are good to go for the deployment of IBM Sterling B2B Integrator. Check the procedure below for a simple installation of IBM Sterling B2B Integrator v5.2.4 on a standalone box.

Installation of IBM Sterling B2B Integrator v5.2.4 on a standalone box:

1. Take a windows server 2003 EE R2 SP2 Virtual Machine or Physical box and give it a little meaningful name like b2bibox.rcds.com.

2. Configure the Network adapter with Static IP.

3. Download and place the IBM Sterling B2B integrator software from IBM Partner world or from CD on the hard drive.

4. Install JDK 1.6 u31.

5. Set Java Path and Class Path.

6. Download and copy policy**.jar files in a new JCE folder.

7. Install DB2 and Create a DB.

8. Extract B2Bi Part number and run IIM.

9. Run Install.exe from \IMSI\IM_Win folder.

10. Select packages to install.

11. Accept License.

12. Select Shared and Eclipse Path.

13. Select Install directory.

14. Select Packages to Install.

15. Set JDK folder: C:\Java\jdk1.6.0_31

16. Select Features to Install.

17. Select JCE jar file (C:\Java\jce\local_policy.jar)

18. Select Install Jar (C:\SWs\SI_5_2_4_RC_4\SI_5020400.jar)

19. Set hostname, port and set password.

20. Set admin email and email server address.

21. Leave FIPS at this point.

22. Select db2 as database and give database details.

23. Give db driver path C:\ibm\sqllib\java\db2jcc.jar

24. Select verbose install.

25. Select processor cores and memory allocated to IBM Sterling B2BI.

26. All done, hit install to install IBM Sterling B2BI.

After Successful Installation, Click on the desktop icon named “IBM_Sterling_B2B_Integrator_at_8080”.

Wait for a few minutes, as it starts the required services and launch the IBM Sterling B2Bi Console in a web browser. Use the default credential to login admin / password.

 

For further information or if you have any questions please feel free to contact the Royal Cyber Inc., IBM Sterling B2Bi and MFT Team.

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