RealTime IT News

WebMethods on SOA Governance Tear

Business integration and optimization company webMethods  is acquiring SOA  registry and governance solutions vendor Infravio for approximately $38 million in cash.

The deal, which is expected to close later this month, strengthens webMethods' SOA offering.

SOA is a framework for allowing disparate computer platforms to work together as services  and for creating efficiencies by allowing IT staff to reuse pre-existing software assets.

However, as more and more disparate systems are added to an SOA, they require an effective and flexible governing structure to prevent chaos from ensuing.

SOA governance enforces the policies and procedures that determine how developers, IT staff and business users can take advantage of services throughout the entire SOA lifecycle, from initial design and run-time to ongoing changes in the system.

SOA governance also creates alignment and enables collaboration across disparate groups while allowing individual participants to maintain distinct views of services and policies.

Features of Infravio's technology include automatic content validation, service level agreement management, security enforcement, versioning and impact analysis.

WebMethods said it expects to have integrated Infravio's registry, repository and SOA governance solutions within the Fabric product suite by the fourth quarter of this year.

An enterprise application integration (EAI) and business process management (BPM) vendor at the outset, webMethods has recently been adding pieces to Fabric, a suite of products that is the foundation of its SOA solution.

Last month, the Fairfax, Va.-based company announced the acquisition of Cerebra, which developed technology that allows enterprises to better manage the metadata that identifies components or assets residing in their repositories.

David Mitchell, president and CEO of webMethods, said in a statement that the acquisitions of Cerebra and Infravio demonstrate the company's commitment to "doing SOA the right way."

At the time of the earlier acquisition, Shawn Willetts, principal analyst at Current Analysis, told internetnews.com that technology from Cerebra would help webMethods round out its SOA solution.

"It's a pretty decent offering for a company of their size," he said.

WebMethods generates approximately $200 million in revenues.

Jason Bloomberg, a senior analyst at Zapthink, told internetnews.com that Infravio's technology addresses critical SOA governance issues.

But he also cautioned that, as with any acquisition, the deal will only improve webMethods' offering if it executes properly.

"Can Infravio's leadership raise webMethods' SOA efforts to a leadership position, or will webMethods' EAI ball-and-chain swamp Infravio's vision? Only time will tell," he said.

At the time of the Cerebra acquisition, CTO Marc Breissinger told internetnews.com that webMethods intends to roll out new Fabric features in December.

The market for SOA solutions has been percolating since early this summer.

A recent Merrill Lynch study also showed that SOA is near the top of enterprise spending intentions.

WebMethods may have other acquisitions up its sleeve. Or it could be the other way around.

"A lot of people speculate that they might be an acquisition target themselves," said Willett.