When we first looked at Cape Clear Softwares platform more than two years ago, the company was strictly a Web service management playera very good one, with strong developer-oriented tools for creating and managing Web services. Since then, Cape Clear has worked to leverage these strengths and capabilities in the ESB and SOA fields, and our tests of Cape Clear ESB 6.6, released in April, show that the company has succeeded.Click here to read a review of Sonic ESB 7.0.During tests, Cape Clear provided solid all-around capabilities for creating and managing ESB-based services. We especially appreciated the centralized management features the product brings to the table. In addition, like other ESB products, Cape Clear ESB now features tools for building and editing orchestrations for business processes based on BPEL (Business Process Execution Language). Cape Clear ESB 6.6 uses a server process based on J2EE (Java 2 Platform, Enterprise Edition), and the server portion can run with the bundled JBoss implementation. Also, during installation, we could choose to run the ESB on the BEA WebLogic or IBM WebSphere application servers. Cape Clear ESB 6.6 will work with all of the major databases, and this release has an improved ability to use BPEL and WS-Reliable Messaging in diverse setups. The Eclipse development environment has become a standard across most ESB and SOA platforms, with the basic setup and interface layout uniform across products. Therefore, the unique Eclipse perspective that an ESB adds provides some distinction and changes the usability among each system. Click here to read a review of Artix 4.0. Cape Clear ESB 6.6s Eclipse perspective, Cape Clear Studio, is pretty good, with clean hierarchical distinctions among services, processes and other applications. The BPEL orchestration designer is one of the better ones weve tested, with interactive and informative drop-down menus for each step. Cape Clear also comes with a Web-based management console for viewing activity on the ESB server and for performing actions such as defining routing options. While we like this interface for the areas it works in, it could use more options for BPM (business process management) and routing. Pricing for Cape Clear ESB is $35,000 per CPU and $3,500 per developer seat. Next page: Evaluation Shortlist: Related Products.