Arming Web Services Developers

M7, Novell and others announced new tools this week help developers build and deploy Web services.

Companies continue to roll out tools to help developers build and deploy Web services.

M7 Corporation Inc., of Cupertino, Calif., this week announced version 2.0 of its M7 Application Assembly Platform, which features an enterprise object repository, support for Web services and new workflow capabilities, said Zack Urlocker, vice president of marketing at M7.

Urlocker said the enterprise object repository enables developers to define and reuse business rules, processes and objects, and to bring existing technology together with new technology, including Web services. Meanwhile, the Web services support in the product enables developers to plug Web services into applications and to reuse them.

M7s newly enhanced workflow engine features a visual editor that can access the repository.

In addition, M7 supports Java ServerPages 2.0 as well as BEA Systems Inc.s BEA WebLogic 7.0, IBMs WebSphere 4.0 and JBoss Group LLCs JBoss 2.4, the company said.

CEO Mansour Safai said M7 helps shield developers from some of the complexity of Java 2 Enterprise Edition.

"The key message here is that J2EE has been around and is taking off, but its getting more and more complex," he said. "Its not graspable by most developers, but only by software architect types."

M7 is "providing a way for people to bring in old code and also link in Web services," Safai said. It also is a way to store and reuse "pre-built functionality."

Novell Inc., of Provo, Utah, announced the availability of Novell Extend 4, its development environment for Web applications and XML Web services.

Novell Extend 4 Enterprise supports J2EE 1.3 and the IBM and BEA application servers, the company said.

WebPutty Inc., of San Jose, Calif., and Actional Corp., of Mountain View, Calif., teamed up to enable developers to integrate enterprise applications from such vendors as SAP AG, Siebel Systems Inc. and PeopleSoft Inc. with their own custom solutions. The agreement will enable developers to use Actionals SOAPswitch to expose their applications as Web services and then use the WebPutty Application Platform to change the enterprise application and add new functionality, the companies said.

Meanwhile, Actional also announced an agreement with Miami-based ClientSoft Inc. to integrate Actionals SOAPswitch and SOAPstation with ClientSoft Tanit Objects to enable developers to build Web services for mainframe systems. ClientSofts Tanit Objects is a development platform for IBMs S/390 environment.