Sonic Software has added a collaboration server and database service to the
new version of its service-oriented architecture (SOA)
platform, built on top of the company’s enterprise service bus (ESB)
Sonic CTO Gordon Van Huizen said the company created the new products to
round out the company’s SOA Infrastructure 6.1, a suite that helps companies
integrate disparate pieces of software and reuse assets to cut development
costs. The suite leverages the Sonic’s ESB, which lets administrators
The Collaboration Server is a business-to-business component that allows an
administrator to manage partner interactions in an SOA, using B2B protocols
and Web services standards, Van Huizen said. The product lets enterprises
meet partner requirements without disrupting their operations.
In that capacity, the Collaboration Service performs a bit like a commerce
server. Van Huizen said the distinction is that the internal view of the
enterprise is aligned with Sonic’s SOA model. Most commerce servers from
integration vendors are their own isolated environments that require a lot
To make the Collaboration Service compliant with industry standards, Sonic
also supports the two primary B2B protocols, ebXML
RosettaNet, with support for BPEL
specifications to come.
Van Huizen said the Bedford, Mass., company created Database Service in order to help
customers integrate relational data sources into an SOA, making it easier
for them to reuse existing data resources.
“What we found is that a significant number of customers were bringing
relational data into their SOAs,” Van Huizen said. “With most products on the
market, that’s a difficult thing to do.” He noted that a customer usually has to map
from the relational query model into a message- or event-driven service.
The Database Service provides the tooling and runtime service to make integrating the database easier. The product features a development mapping tool that
allows users to map from XML
and then map SQL results back into XML messages that would be pushed back
out to the ESB.
The service uses drivers from DataDirect Technologies to provide
connectivity with Oracle Database, Microsoft SQL Server, Sybase
Adaptive Server, Informix Dynamic Server and IBM DB2 UDB. DataDirect was
acquired by Sonic parent Progress Software last year.
The new products join Sonics’s Orchestration Server, XML Server and
Workbench, all underpinned by Sonic’s ESB in the company’s infrastructure
As a maker of Java-based infrastructure software, Sonic sees its main
competitors as IBM
, BEA Systems
, as well as pure-play integration vendors like
Although Sonic has 175 customers using its ESB and SOA stacks, the company
doesn’t have the financial or personnel clout of the large vendors. Van
Huizen said Sonic’s goal is to promote as much interoperability as possible
as the self-described “Switzerland” of the sector, winning customers who
don’t want to go whole hog for IBM’s or BEA’s platforms.
The CTO said Sonic’s primary challenge going forward mirrors that of the
other infrastructure vendors: integrating disparate types of applications
into their SOA models.