Online Extra | Meet the SOA Builders

'The days of monolithic software are long gone. People are making the shift to thousands of Web services,' said Kendall Collins, vice president of product marketing of While we haven't seen a lot of Web services-based deployment in the government sector yet, there is certainly no shortage of vendors offering tools that would help agencies move to component-based architectures, both as integrated platforms and as stand-alone applications. Here's a sampling:


BEA Systems Inc. of San Jose, Calif., offers AquaLogic, which is a complete Web services suite. It includes an Enterprise Resource Bus, business process management application, security and data modeling tools.

IBM Corp. of Armonk, N.Y., makes the Rational Software Architect, which allows developers to reuse software components through its Reusable Asset Specification. The Websphere line of application server tools also offers an integrated set of modeling, workflow, development and simulation capabilities.

Oracle Corp. of Redwood Shores Calif., is integrating the software from its PeopleSoft, JD Edwards and Siebel Systems purchases into what it calls Project Fusion. Fusion is composed of two parts: the applications themselves, and the open standards-based middleware that will bind the applications. Oracle Fusion Middleware is centered around a business process engine, which 'orchestrates the different endpoints' through workflows written in the Business Process Execution Language, said Ted Farrell, vice president and chief architect, application development tools. Customers who purchase the Oracle applications will also be able to call different functionalities as Web services, or blend their own Web services into the core application.

SAP AG of Waldorf, Germany, offers the SAP NetWeaver platform, which has a wizard to help define any SAP enterprise resource planning transaction as a Web service. This 'componentized' approach allows architects to assemble services, such as 'Create Purchase Order' or 'Maintain Vendor Data,' to fit business processes.

Software AG Inc. Reston, Va., makes CrossVision, which offers the necessary components to enable an SOA service, including BPM engine, data modeler and service registry. The company's CentraSite software keeps metrics on Web services use and performance.


Composite Software Inc., of San Mateo, Calif., makes the Composite Information Server and the design tool Composite Studio. The two allow you to intermingle different data sources and present them as one data source. The sources are defined as Web services through industry standard Web Services Description Language.

Flashline Inc., of Cleveland, Ohio, sells Flashline Registry, a service registry that also keeps track of documentation for a Web service, as well as customer satisfaction metrics. It can also map potential projects to OMB Exhibit 300 performance goals.

Fujitsu Ltd. of Tokyo, offers Interstage business process management software, which allows users to build workflows by assembling multiple Web services.

Infravio Inc., of Cupertino, Calif., makes X-Registry, which stores information about an organization's Web services so they can be discovered by workflow designers or other Web services. Infravio uses the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration specification, the industry standard for Web service repositories.

Layer 7 Technologies Inc. of Vancouver, British Columbia, offers the SecureSpan Gateway, a security appliance that examines Simple Object Access Protocol packets for common attack signatures. The gateway examines the packets before they enter the Enterprise Service Bus or can act as a service within the ESB itself.

MetaMatrix Inc., of Waltham, Mass., offer MetaMatrix Enterprise, which allows designers to map XML schemas to databases and add metadata. The resulting data objects streamline the ability to query databases from Web services interfaces.

Microsoft Corp., of Redmond Wash., aims to bring Web services to the desktop with the upcoming release of the Vista operating system, according to Brain Goldfarb, technical product manager for the developer division. The operating system will include the Windows Communication Foundation, which exposes OS functions as Web services. A related component, Windows Workflow Foundation, will allow personal computers to work in conjunction with one another via workflows. Inc., of San Francisco, primarily known for its Web-hosted sales force automation service, also hosts a number of generic services that can be assembled in unique configurations. The company's Application Exchange features 180 applications from and third-party developers.

Sonic Software Corp. of Bedford, Mass., makes the Sonic Enterprise Service Bus, messaging software that routes Web services and other network requests to their appropriate target. Deploying an ESB eliminates the repetitive work of determining the addresses of individual Web services (and replacing those addresses when they change). All requests are sent to the ESB itself, which then centrally routes the messages.

Telelogic AB of Malmo, Sweden, recently acquired System Architect, which allows you to model a workflow between architectural components and then export the relations in Business Process Execution Language, which can then be run by a BPEL engine. As you make changes to the architecture, you can also make corresponding changes to the workflow.

WebLayers Inc., of Cambridge, Mass., offers WebLayers Center, which allows managers to track the development of SOA services. Managers can set the policies concerning Web services development and check a dashboard for progress.


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