By Chris Gonsalves  |  Posted 2007-08-24 Print this article Print

é Implements AmberPoint"> "The legacy IT stove pipes we had in place no longer reflected our business processes," said Bob Alberts, project manager for Univé. "The services-based approach not only delivers greater IT and economic efficiencies but also streamlines our internal business processes, providing both significant performance improvements and greater flexibility." Such thinking has pushed Univé into a broad SOA implementation aimed at automation and the removal of traditional paper-based processes. So far, through the work of some 30 developers, the company has implemented 74 .Net-based Web services with 177 endpoints or individual services. The full system will eventually be rolled out as a Web-based platform interacting with millions of users, Alberts said.
But with the growth of Univés SOA deployment came pain points. Kersten said theres a big difference between managing 10 to 15 services and managing more than 70.
So in 2006, as part of the companys vision for its multi-tier architecture, Kerstens team at Univé began looking for a way to corral SOA growth and manage the burgeoning number of sources to keep the SOA benefits flowing. That search resulted earlier this year in Univés tapping local systems integrator Systemation to roll out AmberPoints SOA Management System. Univé is integrating AmberPoints run-time governance software in conjunction with Microsofts MOM (Microsoft Operations Manager) to manage and monitor its SOA systems. According to Kersten, the AmberPoint tools essentially ensure the health of Univés SOA through dynamic implementation of policies in the run-time environment. As a result, AmberPoints tools give customers such as Univé more adaptive end-to-end control of services-based applications. AmberPoints software was chosen in part because of its ability to tightly integrate with MOM. Combining the two complementary products improves efficiency and performance by letting Univé centrally monitor and manage all its distributed systems. Kersten especially praised the AmberPoint products ability to not only monitor all services activity between Univés two data centers but also actively engage in failover routing when performance is affected. In addition, the SOA Management System tools are used to track dependencies among services to gain insight into which are heavily used and how development changes can affect overall system performance. The SOA Management System can ferret out exceptions issues—intercepting input and output messages "so you can always see what went wrong," Kersten said. The AmberPoint tools also allow users to see which services are becoming obsolete. The AmberPoint management systems ability to proactively manage an SOA is a major differentiator, according to John Hubinger, AmberPoints president and CEO, in Oakland, Calif. "Many times, the main issue with SOA management products is that they are observers but not participants," Hubinger said. "Univé is a good example of a user that wanted increased visibility and action. "When I see services out of compliance with service-level agreements or the like, you have to tell me, and you have to do something about it," Hubinger said. "You have to add services or retry. Its not enough to simply look at the problems and report on them."


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