SOA Software Pushes Workbench Governance


SOA Software, one of the last standalone service-oriented architecture (SOA)
vendors standing in a space shrunken by consolidation, added a new major
piece to its software portfolio for managing distributed computing systems.


Called Workbench, the software is an integrated registry and repository that
allows developers to manage SOAs
 , or platforms for helping unrelated applications
communicate conduct tasks.


Workbench allows service providers to enforce runtime policies for their
consumers and speed service reuse, which are two of the core tenets of an
SOA.


The new product competes with the Systinet software acquired by HP  vis-à-vis its Mercury Interactive buy, the Infravio product
acquired by webMethods  and IBM’s  WebSphere Service Registry Repository.


But Ian Goldsmith, vice president of product marketing for SOA Software,
said those companies’ governance tools are insufficient because they do not
enforce run-time policies or ensure that the policies they define are being
enforced. Moreover, they have little knowledge of the actual usage of the
services they govern.


Workbench can be deployed as a standalone application or integrated with
SOA Software’s Service Manager product to offer customers SOA governance in
a “closed loop” infrastructure for defining, enforcing and auditing,
Goldsmith said.


In this model, users define a policy in the governance system, enforce the
policy in runtime, and the runtime generates compliance data which the
governance system audits, comparing that data with the policies to close the
loop.


Specifically for SOA Software customers, Workbench defines policies that are
enforced by the Service Manager security and management systems.


Service Manager collects metrics and compliance data that it passes back to
Workbench, which implements an audit process comparing these metrics with
the original policies to ensure that they are being correctly enforced.


Conversely, Goldsmith said SOA Software competitors have disconnected
governance and runtime models.


“You’ve got a governance model where you define a policy and hope that it is
being enforced, and you’ve got a runtime that randomly enforces policies and
really doesn’t know what it’s enforcing,” Goldsmith said.


SOA Software is hosting a technology preview for Workbench this month; the
product will be generally available in 2007, with pricing starting at
$50,000.


While SOA Software focuses on governance, Iona fuels the delivery of
applications across disparate networks with its enterprise service bus
, which federates communications between applications in a SOA.


Iona this week introduced Celtix Enterprise, the company’s open source ESB.


The software is an alternative to the open source ESB from MuleSource and
from commercial products like its own Artix offering and ESBs from vendors
IBM, BEA Systems  and Tibco Systems .


Like the models set by MySQL and JBoss before it, Iona is offering the
Celtix server for free, planning to make money through a combination of related
technology and corresponding consulting, training and support, said Debbie
Moynihan, director of open source programs at Iona.


“Anyone can come and download the code free of charge with an open source
license,” Moynihan said. “When they’re ready, if they’re ready, they will
have support available from us.”


Some customers prefer this free-software, paid-support approach because they
don’t necessarily have the perpetual licensing cash, technical wherewithal
or time to set up an ESB on their computer networks.


Celtix Enterprise includes the Celtix Advanced Service Engine as a
lightweight framework for creating and connecting Web services
 . This software is based on code from the Apache
Incubator project CXF.


The ESB also exchanges messages via point-to-point message queuing and
publish-subscribe through the Celtix Advanced Messaging platform, which is
based on the open Advanced Message Queuing Protocol (AMQP) from the Apache
Incubator Qpid project.


Celtix Enterprise is compatible with several SOA products, including those
in Iona’s Artix product family, and provides customers with different
deployment models, such as lightweight containers based on the Spring
framework and/or the Apache Tomcat project.


Celtix Enterprise services, which customers can upgrade by paying for new
capabilities as their business and technology requirements expand, can also
be deployed in any J2EE or JBI container.


Moynihan said Iona is offering free 30-day evaluation and maintenance
support for programmers to test the product.


Iona’s new open source product comes two months after MuleSource released
version 1.3 of its Mule ESB, along with $4 million in new funding.

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