Beyond Integation

By John Moore  |  Posted 2007-07-19 Print this article Print

The standard definition of service-oriented architecture is still being debated. But semantics aside, companies are using a variety of frame-works to integrate applications—and increase efficiency.

Beyond Integration

Vendors are also pushing into the development and governance aspects of service-oriented architecture. SOA links disparate applications, but plays another role as a software design philosophy focused on creating reusable services.

As services proliferate, organizations need tools to catalog them so developers can see what's available—and avoid reinventing the wheel. They may also require software for monitoring the performance of services in a production environment.

In response, integration vendors either acquire companies specializing in service-oriented architecture governance or develop their own wares. WebMethods took the former tack in 2006, acquiring Infravio for $38 million. That deal brought with it a registry for tracking services and governance software. Tibco followed the build approach in its launch last year of ActiveMatrix, which provides service development and governance products.

But while WebMethods and its peers expand their offerings, the companies aren't expected to forsake their integration roots. Mark Carlson, director of the independent WebMethods user group and president of Conneva, an Evergreen, Colo., consulting firm, says remembering the fundamentals is crucial. "Successful SOA," he says, "depends on and requires a successful integration layer."

John writes the Contract Watch column and his own column for the Channel Insider.

John has covered the information-technology industry for 15 years, focusing on government issues, systems integrators, resellers and channel activities. Prior to working with Channel Insider, he was an editor at Smart Partner, and a department editor at Federal Computer Week, a newspaper covering federal information technology. At Federal Computer Week, John covered federal contractors and compiled the publication's annual ranking of the market's top 25 integrators. John also was a senior editor in the Washington, D.C., bureau of Computer Systems News.


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