SOA Vendors Make Moves

Rivals SOA Software and AmberPoint announced significant moves to improve their portfolios today, angling for leadership position in the growing market for software that manages a service-oriented architecture (SOA) .

SOAs allow corporations to exchange Web services applications across disparate computing gear and reuse assets such as code and services.

SOA Software, of Santa Monica, Calif., makes its mark by selling management software to financial services firms, telcos and other vertical businesses.

But in an unusual reversal of a high-tech vendor buying a proprietary software product from a financial services firm, SOA Software today bought Merrill Lynch’s X4ML Mainframe Web services platform, which allows mainframes to expose and consume Web services .

Merrill Lynch currently uses the platform to expose and consume more than 600 Web services and process more than 1,500,000 transactions per day.

SOA said it will sell the software under the name Service Oriented Legacy Architecture (SOLA) to let companies tie legacy applications and databases built for mainframes with new Web services, erasing boundaries created by different technologies.

SOA Software said it plans to offer the software platform as a standalone product and as an integrated part of its program portfolio later this month, starting at $125,000.

While financial terms of the deal were not unveiled, the team that built the software will join SOA Software to continue the development of the technology.

“It gives them an entrée into the important world of legacy apps, but it also has some ways in which in takes SOA Software into integration functionality that is beyond its core focus on SOA management,” said Forrester Research analyst Randy Heffner.

“At the same time, it gives them a way to extend their SOA management to the mainframe platform, so it ties into SOA Software’s overall value proposition.”

Meanwhile, Oakland, Calif.’s AmberPoint has upgraded its SOA governance platform. AmberPoint 5.0 features a new policy system that helps companies get greater control of their computer systems by removing random policy definitions.

The software also boasts better support for security standards such as WS-Security and SAML provides a graphical interface for defining security policies.

Pre-built agents allow AmberPoint 5.0 to support all major SOA platforms and automatically discovers the services recorded in a UDDI registry. The new package also offers additional diagnostics and root-cause analysis capabilities

The dueling announcements from SOA Software and AmberPoint show that vendors specializing in distributed computing are gearing up for one last year-end push, as they rally to get new products out the door or make new deals.

Both competitors partner with giant infrastructure vendors like IBM in the hopes of surviving and thriving in the multi-billion-dollar niche.

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