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LogicLibrary Launches New .NET Directory

LOS ANGELES -- LogicLibrary, a maker of metadata software for UDDI Web services catalogs , has released what it calls the first asset discovery engine for developers using the Microsoft .NET framework to consolidate and integrate applications.

Short for Universal Description, Discovery and Integration, UDDI is a Web-based distributed directory that enables businesses to list themselves on the Internet and discover each other, similar to a traditional phone book's yellow and white pages.

The tools, called Logidex for .NET, enable software architects and developers using the Visual Studio .NET 2003 framework a way to quickly search a centralized library, or directory, of software development assets (SDAs) for building Web services applications in the .NET framework.

The Pittsburgh-based company is also integrating its directory-searching tools with the current build of Microsoft's Visual Studio pre-beta "Whidbey" that is due to be unveiled to developers at Microsoft's Professional Developers Conference here, which runs until Thursday.

Call it a starter-kit catalog of descriptions about how Web services data should be interpreted between business partners. The Logidex search tools are now a tightly integrated SDA management tool for the Visual Studio .NET platform.

As Web services are created, LogicLibrary's Logidex graphical search engine works with public and private UDDI directories to supply a more complete set of metadata for each registered Web service. From there, the Logidex engine provides a context that allows both internal developers and external partners to understand and assess the Web services available to them.

As new Web services and other assets are developed, Logidex allows them to be mapped to the business' models so that the library of software assets continues to grow over time and stays current with the enterprise's business and technical frameworks, company officials explained.

The idea is to help organizations more easily represent and consume the complex application and SDA relationships inherent in service-oriented applications -- or to essentially make sure the "catalog" of data from one application is interpreting it the way it was intended. To use the mail-order catalog analogy, the Logidex library search tools help ensure that a customer accessing a Web services public "catalog" -- or UDDI -- sees a "couch" that it is searching for.

"These are out of the box assets that people can use immediately," said Greg Coticchia, president and CEO of LogicLibrary. Even if developers don't have time to start populating the catalog with their own assets, it is already populated with Microsoft patterns and practices, he said. Developers can search and find those without leaving their own development environment.

In many enterprises that are conducing pilot tests of Web services for conducting business transactions in a Web environment automatically, the state of the art for handling the data being transferred are spreadsheets programs such as Excel or Lotus notes. But the spreadsheets are not scalable or usable. "You need a vehicle to share and update those," said Coticchia, which is what the Logidex library does.

LogicLibrary also announced Tuesday the ability for Visual Studio .NET developers to scan a comprehensive list of Microsoft-defined .NET Framework software assets and perform model-based searches of the library on MSDN at http://lab.msdn.microsoft.com/logidex.

The pre-loaded .NET framework assets are directly from Microsoft's Platform Architectural Guidance (PAG) Group, include enterprise solution patterns, application blocks, and reference applications and architectures.

Coticchia said developers would use Logidex's patent-pending graphical discovery engine to find the PAP that provides the .NET patterns and practices they need to see in order to collaborate on building Windows-based applications and XML Web services from within the Visual Studio .NET 2003 development environment.

The Logidex UDDI search tools help enterprises to map relationships among Microsoft .NET Framework SDAs, their business process and technical models, and their applications, components, XML schemas, documentation and other key software and knowledge assets that span the application development lifecycle.

MSDN users will have read-only access to the Logidex .NET Library via either Microsoft Internet Explorer or a Logidex add-in for Visual Studio .NET 2003, which is available for download here.

The companies said discovered Microsoft .NET Framework assets can be downloaded from the Logidex .NET Library directly into a user's development environment. It is also offering 30-day trials of the hosted Logidex for .NET library that let developers add their own SDAs to the library and map them to the Microsoft patterns and practices.

Coticchia said the data descriptions in the library have been submitted to the Object Management Group, a standards group working on interoperable terms such as the Reusable Asset Specification.

Although LogicLibrary's announcement Tuesday is sort of a coming out party for the three-year-old company, it also works closely on Web services technology lines with companies such as IBM, Borland and IBM's Rational Software. It also collaborates with Sun Microsystems and offers Java versions of the Logidex tools.