One pinch BPM, add a little SOA

GCN Insider | Products and trends that affect the way government uses technology

The Numerator: SOA

Sixty-eight percent of respondents to an ongoing Industry Advisory Council survey on service-oriented architecture said their organizations have not agreed on funding models for offering shared services. As of April 16, half the respondents were from government agencies (

Survey question: 'My organization has agreed on funding models for shared services.'

3% strongly agree

16% agree

13% agree

42% disagree

26% strongly disagree

The recent news that Software AG is planning to acquire integration software provider WebMethods has resulted in a virtual avalanche of industry acronyms. So pay attention: With a background in offering Extensible Markup Language (XML) tools, Software AG has in recent years been concentrating on offering a wide portfolio of products for organizations to set up their information technology services in a service-oriented architecture (SOA). Its chief product suite is called CentraSite, which is a repository and registry in which you can store information about your reusable services.

Software AG's $546 million acquisition brings a new crop of terms. WebMethods started out offering enterprise application integration (EAI) tools to bridge different systems. Recently, however, the company has focused on business process management (BPM) software, or software for running workflows across disparate systems.

Although this is quite a broad array of products, the purchase was also beneficial in extending Software AG's reach in this country. 'The product portfolio is very complementary, as is the geographic reach,' said Karl-Heinz Streibich, chief executive officer of Software AG, in a press conference announcing the sale. Software AG has made greater inroads in Europe, while WebMethods has concentrated its efforts in the United States.

Although traditionally concentrating on the corporate market, WebMethods has made efforts to serve federal agencies in recent years. The Internal Revenue Service used the company's software for some of its modernization efforts. The Defense Department used WebMethods' software for its EMall electronic procurement system. The company's flagship integration suite ' WebMethods Fabric ' recently received Common Criteria security certification from the National Information Assurance Partnership, paving the way for its use on networks carrying sensitive data.

About the Author

Joab Jackson is the senior technology editor for Government Computer News.

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