Scoping Out Web Services Problems

Mindreef on Tuesday rolled out SOAPscope Personal 1.0, a new Web services diagnostics system for developers.

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Mindreef LLC on Tuesday announced at the Software Development East 2002 show, in Boston, the availability of Mindreef SOAPscope Personal 1.0, a new Web services diagnostics system for developers.

SOAPscope Personal 1.0 features a logger and viewer for finding and troubleshooting problems in such areas as performance and interoperability, said Jim Moskun, a co-founder of Mindreef, based in Hollis, N.H.

Moskun said the Mindreef product collects information about Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) transactions and uses it to shed light on Web services communications. And while most logging tools store data in a flat file, SOAPscope Personal stores it in a relational database for easier use, he said.

SOAPscope will run in sniffer mode on a network or as a proxy, the company said. It also supports psuedocode, has Modify/Resend capability for trying new values and re-sending SOAP packets when errors occur and features debugging annotations for putting debug output in the log, Moskun said.

"Theres a lot of activity in Web services management, but we felt there werent any tools targeted at problems people have today," Moskun said. "A lot of companies are ahead of the curve, building large infrastructures to handle Web services management, but people are still in the early adopter phase. Things like interoperability between toolkits is a problem, and getting from point A to point B. If a message doesnt get through, you need to find out what went wrong."

Moskun said Mindreef joined SOAPbuilders, an informal group of grassroots Web services implementers —including Sun Microsystems Inc., IBM Corp., IONA Technologies Inc, BEA Systems Inc. and others—who gather quarterly to test the interoperability of their Web services platforms. He said the group used SOAPscope as one of the tools in the tests.

"We think SOAPscope Personal is a stepping stone to a very large opportunity in Web services diagnostics," Moskun said. "We always thought thered be a need for debugging tools for distributed systems. With SOAPscope our mantra was anybody seriously working with Web services needs a logger and viewer utility, particularly one specifically designed for SOAP and WSDL [Web Services Description Language]."

Mindreef SOAPscope Personal 1.0 is priced at $99 and is available to download at Meanwhile, Mindreef SOAPscope Professional and Team 1.0 editions are expected to be available in the first quarter of 2003, the company said.