SoapSwitch Wraps Apps With Web Service Features

Enterprise application integration software maker Actional Corp. is readying software that its officials say has the ability to wrap applications with Web service functionality in about 30 minutes.

Actionals SoapSwitch technology, which will be released for general availability sometime in April, essentially acts as a Web services gateway for businesses deploying enterprise applications.

The SoapSwitch software accomplishes two primary functions. First is the ability to take a companys back-end systems and put a standards-based Web services wrapper around them.

Second is a single point of control, or switch, that all Web services traffic flows through. SoapSwitch centralizes security, management and monitoring of Web services, as well as transforms data models into a standard format, according to Actional officials, in Costa Mesa, Calif.

SoapSwitch can configure itself to a number of enterprise applications APIs--SAP AGs BAPI (business API) proprietary programming language, for example--where it then queries an API for functionality and presents it back to the user, generally a developer.

"We then allow the user to pick and choose what they care about and build a transformation on the fly," said James Phillips, vice president of product management and product marketing for Actional.

The developer need only go to SoapSwitch on the back end, decide what he or she wants available on the front end from the APIs presented, and expose those APIs as Web services, Phillips said.

SoapSwitch is able to suss out APIs from a host of applications, including those from SAP, PeopleSoft Inc., Siebel Systems Inc., Oracle Corp. and J.D. Edwards & Co.

The software can also support a variety of other applications via IBMs MQ Series middleware and XML interfaces.

Target pricing for SoapSwitch, which runs on Windows and Solaris, is in the $100,000 range for a production deployment in a typical deal, according to officials.