Expanding MarketBy Brian P. Watson Print
Something's wrong with your Web services—and you probably don't know it yet. That's what can happen when businesses expose applications without deploying tools to manage and monitor their performance.
Actional, purchased this year by Progress Software, was one of a handful of pure-play software providers focused solely on Web services management. For years, early entrants like Actional, AmberPoint and SOA Software battled head-to-head for early adopter customers. According to IDC, the worldwide Web services systems infrastructure software market—which includes Web services management—was $1.02 billion in 2005.
As Web services gained traction, giants like IBM and Oracle unveiled their own offerings, giving the pure-plays a run for their money. Consolidation followed, continuing through today; last month, integration software maker webMethods bought Infravio, an SOA governance vendor, for $38 million. IDC expects the market to swell to $3.91 billion by 2009.
Despite some big-name vendors in the space, some companies have opted to build their own Web services management and monitoring tools. NBC Universal's reason for going solo started with a unique demand: The broadcaster needed a video approval workflow tool that would allow outside parties—like lawyers—to hook into its video editing cycle to check for any malfeasance.
"There wasn't anything out there that suited our need," says David Pugh, vice president of software engineering, referring to available offerings. "Building it from scratch was what was required."
So, his team designed the tool as a Web service in the Java 2 Enterprise Edition framework for application development. As they continued to build services, they built in-house programs to monitor traffic and performance. "I'm sure there were opportunities where we could have looked at packaged solutions," Pugh says. "But I feel like we did it in the only way that made sense for us."
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