Tool Governs SOA, XML, Web Services Life Cycles

By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2005-03-15 Print this article Print

WebLayers Center 2.0, analysts say, is among the first enterprise tools to provide governance of XML, Web services and SOAs, starting at the design phase and running through the life of the services.

WebLayers Inc. this week will roll out its first commercial release—WebLayers Center 2.0—a product that analysts say is among the first enterprise tools to provide governance of XML, Web services and SOAs, starting at the design phase and running through the life of the services.

WebLayers Center 2.0 offers enterprise service-oriented architecture policy definition, configuration and management and features conformance mechanisms and checkpoints to help monitor compliance, said Motti Vaknin, chief executive of WebLayers, in Cambridge, Mass. The product features dashboards displaying compliance information and issues comprehensive reports related to governance.

Vaknin said WebLayers has been in stealth mode for about two years, yet "we are releasing the product as Version 2.0 because, the way we see it, Version 1.0 is already out there." Several large enterprise customers have already deployed it, he said.

"WebLayers is the first vendor devoted entirely to SOA governance and the related compliance issues. Theres no question theyre in the right place at the right time with the WebLayers Center product," said Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, in Waltham, Mass.

"The problem we are solving is one of the biggest challenges we have today in leveraging XML," Vaknin said. Without proper governance, enterprises could waste "billions of dollars over the next three to five years" on aborted SOA projects, he said.

XML and Web services have been viewed as the solution to integration problems via standard, reusable services that merge into SOAs. However, "in that power, there is risk," Vaknin said.

He said that to build well-functioning SOAs, developers need to define and then govern the SOA platform; otherwise, "were seeing the creation of new silos of SOA." And this could lead to the repetition of pitfalls that occurred with other distributed computing strategies, Vaknin said.

WebLayers Center 2.0 enables an enterprise to set governance policies for XML, Web services and SOA deployment and provides a mechanism for conformance to those policies and tracks and enforces those policies, Vaknin said. It also governs UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration) registries.

"A major challenge facing large enterprises today has to do with repositories," said a software architect with a major financial services company, who asked not to be identified. "Many repositories of different vendors reside in different domains, have different interfaces, roles, ways of presenting and handling data, technologies and mechanisms for retrieving data and interacting with them. This is a major challenge in realizing real, agile SOA."

Check out eWEEK.coms for the latest news, reviews and analysis in Web services.
Darryl K. Taft covers the development tools and developer-related issues beat from his office in Baltimore. He has more than 10 years of experience in the business and is always looking for the next scoop. Taft is a member of the Association for Computing Machinery (ACM) and was named 'one of the most active middleware reporters in the world' by The Middleware Co. He also has his own card in the 'Who's Who in Enterprise Java' deck.

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