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

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

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

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.

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