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webMethods Sets Its Agenda for Enterprise Web Services

Integration software powerhouse webMethods, Inc. staked out its claim today to be the "first integration vendor to offer a solution for deploying, integrating and managing enterprise Web services."

According to company officials, the webMethods integration platform provides the foundation for the deployment of enterprise Web services -- enterprise-class Web services coupled with business process management capabilities and an integration platform that is in use today by hundreds of Global 2000 corporations.

The approach integrates an enterprise's consumer services with the mission-critical applications and processes that run a business. It combines support for common protocols, such as SOAP, WSDL and UDDI, with the management capabilities, transactional integrity and security features required for enterprise-level functionality.

"As the concept of Web services begins to mature, organizations should be sure to consider individual vendor support for Web services as one of several criteria as they evaluate various integration product offerings," said Carolyn White, senior research analyst for META Group. "Choosing an integration player that supports Web services standards in current product offerings can provide a jump start to any standards-based IT strategy; but organizations should be clear that these Web services can be integrated with their enterprise."

"To date the industry has focused on defining an approach to Web services that requires low level development tools and extensive coding," said Jim Green, executive vice president and chief technology officer of webMethods. "Our customers have indicated that they are interested in a low risk solution that allows them to use their existing applications and business processes, rather than requiring new development. webMethods offers a solution with which enterprise Web services can be deployed with three clicks of a mouse and then managed as a seamless part of a business process."

The Fairfax, Va.-based webMethods says it is able to differentiate enterprise Web services by delivering the ability to re-use existing applications, offering transaction management capabilities, and building upon webMethods' industry position.

The webMethods integration platform provides out-of-the-box functionality that allows customers to deploy enterprise Web services with no coding required. The approach combines into a single view all corporate operations, whether internal or external.

Companies can use the latest version of the webMethods integration platform to create enterprise Web services from any existing application, including packaged applications from industry leaders such as SAP, Siebel, i2 Technologies, J.D. Edwards and Oracle; databases; and legacy, mainframe, and custom-built applications.

Through the open management interface (OMI) specification, companies can proactively manage Web service transactions and processes-tracking performance, quality of service, transaction volume and a variety of other business operation metrics using the current webMethods integration platform. OMI allows companies to achieve interoperability between systems management and integration software.

Founded in 1996, webMethods has offices throughout the U.S., Europe and Asia Pacific. The company has more than 750 customers worldwide including Dell, Eastman Chemical, The Ford Motor Company, Grainger, and Motorola. webMethods' strategic partners include Accenture, AMS, BMC, BroadVision, Cap Gemini Ernst & Young, Deloitte Consulting, EDS, Hewlett-Packard, i2 Technologies, J.D. Edwards, KPMG Consulting, Microsoft, Oracle Corp., SAP AG and Siebel Systems.