Generally, I highlight an integration hot topic or issue and provide a few links to recent relevant articles. Today, I'm offering something a little bit different.
I've noticed there is no one place where you can find integration announcements each week, so I've decided to offer a weekly round-up. Most of these announcements aren't covered as articles, but are just published press releases -- don't expect these articles to offer you critical insight so much as a list of features -- but at least you'll get an idea of who's offering what.
Just to clarify, I'm probably not going to include every single announcement, simply because I won't see every announcement. Plus, some integration announcements are granular and not of broad interest - such as when one niche player specializing in a niche industry teams up with another niche vendor. My goal is to give you a range of new SOA and integration-related offerings each week.
Ironically, I'm offering this new blog element the day after David Linthicum took vendors to task for being unable to sell their own product. If you aren't familiar with Linthicum, he's an integration consultant, managing partner with Zapthink, and widely quoted SOA expert.
Linthicum writes that vendors often can't explain their own product, the problems the product solves or even SOA -- which, really, is much more excusable than being incapable of explaining your own product, given SOA's standing as the most confusing tech acronym of the year. If you haven't read his column, check it out on JDJ.
Until the vendors get better at describing their wares, the rest of us will just have to make do. Here's a short list of some recent integration-related announcements.
WSO2 Open Source SOA Registry: WSO2 is coming out with an open source SOA registry, according to co-founder Paul Fremantle's blog. It's still in the project phase, but you can download the code. Fremantle said he felt there needed to be a "really nice, simple, successful open source initiative in this space," particularly since he'd noticed even open source advocates were turning to proprietary SOA registries. It's built on REST (Representational State Transfer) concepts using the Atom Publishing Protocol to give access to the repository for updating resources, but you can peruse the registry with a browser. IT Toolbox blogger and Perficient Chief Technologist Eric Roch contends that this is good news, saying "commercial products are generally overpriced in my opinion." He also links to another, existing open source SOA registry.
Microsoft's New SOA Governance Partner: SOA Software and Microsoft are partnering up, with SOA Software joining the Microsoft Business Process Alliance. It's always tricky to tell whether these announcements actually are just announcements of official partnerships or a true functionality change, but basically, the release seems to be saying that that SOA Software's Workbench and Service Manager products, which are SOA governance tools, will now integrate with Microsoft BizTalk Server 2006 R2 and Internet Information Services (IIS). This gives Microsoft customers a tool for managing services on BizTalk Server and, obviously, it gives SOA Software a powerful market partner. Acording to the release, SOA Software also works with other Microsoft products, including .NET 3.0, Windows Workflow Foundation, SQL Server 2005, 2007 Office System, and Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007. You can see the full list at SOA World Magazine.
Intel's New XML Software Suite - Security Sold Separately: Intel is offering an XML software suite, oddly enough called simply the XML Software Suite. It's a set of libraries Java and C++ that can be used to perform common XML functions, such as parsing, schema validation and language transformation. Networking Computing reports the suite can be used to "boost performance of application servers and SOA middleware." As the article points out, Intel offering this software tool is actually interesting because it's a software offering -- and generally, Intel's not about software. Generally, you see these things offered as XML appliances. It's also noteworthy because Intel's selling the XML Software Suite directly to enterprises, instead of going through a reseller. Another note: The suite doesn't include security functions, which will apparently be sold separately as Intel's SOA Security Toolkit.
Oracle Users Can Monitor Services with New Release of ClearApp QuickVision: ClearApp sells application service management for J2EE-based composite applications -- which, put into English, means ClearApp offers a modeling engine that monitors and helps you manage the performance of things like portals, integration platforms ESBs (enterprise service bus) and BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) engines. The company will release its product, QuickVision 7.5 in February, but there's a beta release next week (the week of Dec. 10-14). The big news in this release is that QuickVision is now offering Oracle users a way to monitor and measure SOA services and components on the Oracle Application Server. It'll integrate with Oracle BPEL Process Manager to generate a visual model of how BPEL workflows connect to Web services, enterprise service buses, and J2EE Java resources, according to InfoWorld. The new version will also support the IBM WebSphere 6.1 application server and the JBoss application server. When QuickVision 7.5 releases in February, its list price is expected to be $12,500 per CPU, but you'll also be able to try a 90-day subscription at $700 per monitored CPU, based on list pricing, according to the article.