Doug Levin, chief executive of Black Duck, based in Waltham, Mass., said the company is working on a technology that helps protect intellectual property as enterprises move to build and customize applications for service-oriented architecture environments. Levin spoke with eWEEK following a panel he participated in at the SOA World Conference & Expo here.
Levin said Black Duck as yet has no name, pricing or distribution information available for the upcoming product, but that it will be available in the fall.
"I think SOA will be a fully implemented part of the enterprise and it will not just be for certain well-endowed enterprises and companies participating, but will be ingrained across the industry," Levin said.
Levin said the options for SOA developers are somewhat limited in terms of applications and supporting products. He said there are tools, governance technologies and infrastructure technologies, but opportunities exist for component management and services management solutions.
"We looked at stacks, but decided to do a contrasting model because we think stacks are done," Levin said, speaking of stacks of open-source or mixed open- and closed-source software components designed to facilitate SOA development.
"Weve catapulted over that and well introduce technology to help companies manage components and take care of their own IP [intellectual property] and other things, including, eventually, services. So you can do mashups without having to worry about what is involved."
Levin said Black Duck has spoken with more than 30 prospective customers for the technology and asked them what they thought of the idea behind the companys upcoming product, and every response was favorable.
"To build SOA solutions with open source and other components via a mashup approach or a conventional software development approach, you need new tools," Levin said. "And when companies are developing these new applications using outsourcing, they are doing fewer and fewer new applications. They are taking old infrastructure and retrofitting it with new technology. I see the opportunity to retrofit old infrastructure with applications and services."
Black Ducks upcoming SOA-supporting technology appears to be a bit of a departure from the companys primary line of products. The companys flagship product, ProtexIP, works to validate software contents, verify license compliance, and find and address issues early in the development cycle—or well in advance of a due diligence event, Black Duck officials said.
The ProtexIP platform helps users reduce business risks, complete software projects on time and on budget, and stay on track with their business plans, the company said.
By enabling developers to, eventually, check the intellectual property ramifications of services, Black Duck will be focusing on an emerging trend in the development space toward the use of mashups and other lightweight programming models, Levin said.