IBM: Practice Makes Perfect for the SOA Initiated

IBM’s Global Services division has created a practice to help customers with
Web services management tools scale to larger service-oriented architectures

SOAs are the latest and hottest trend in distributed computing,
enabling asynchronous communication among Web services
and allowing software assets to be reused to minimize manual coding. As a
crucial part of an SOA, Web services facilitate application-to-application
communication, serving as a catalyst for transactions over the Web.

Driven by customer demand, the SOA practice will help customers build and
manage SOAs, with IBM’s services team also offering to help implement
management tools from the company’s Tivoli software line.

IBM’s Tivoli tools manage authentication and authorization; faults and
errors; application performance; performance of transactions in an SOA; and
integration. They also help catalog Web services with information and
include development tools for Web service management agent and client.

Management software from Web services outfit Digital Evolution will also be
included in the practice, according to a statement. More third-party
software providers are expected to join the practice shortly.

ZapThink analyst Jason Bloomberg said IGS has over 35,000 architects on
staff who are now trained in SOA, perhaps the largest network of SOA
architects in the world.

“We also feel this news is significant because it is an indication that 2005
will be the year that large enterprises scale their SOA initiatives up — if
not generally to enterprise-wide implementations yet, then at least to
substantial cross-departmental projects,” Bloomberg told “So we’re no longer talking about SOA adoption;
we’re talking about scaling SOA now.”

IBM has been touting the value of SOAs as a
part of its e-business on-demand strategy for several months and has created
a foundation software product in its WebSphere line to support its strategy.
IBM later opened
SOA Design Centers.

Among the larger companies, IBM’s closest competition seems to be BEA
Systems, which earlier this week launched
SOA software and services bundle for such vertical markets as retail and
financial services.

Earlier, the San Jose, Calif., concern introduced
SOA software for mobile computing devices. Smaller vendors such as
Actional, AmberPoint, Infravio and Systinet also focus on SOAs.

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