Tools Facilitate Web Services Development

OpenLink aims at easing cross-platform integration.

In the world of Web services development, cross-platform integration is still a struggle for many developers. To help ease that burden, tool vendors OpenLink Software Inc. and Candle Corp. are gearing up new products.

OpenLink late last month announced that Version 3.0 of its Virtuoso data access and Web services middleware will use Ximian Inc.s open-source Mono technology to deliver cross-platform integration of Microsoft Corp.s .Net technology. With Mono, Virtuoso can deliver .Net Common Language Runtime and .Net Framework integration across Windows, Linux, Mac OS X and Unix. This will let developers create Web services in any .Net-compatible language, said officials at OpenLink, of Burlington, Mass.

Kingsley Idehen, president and CEO of OpenLink, said the company looked at Microsofts Rotor cross-platform strategy, but because it is "strictly a research and development effort" and did not allow commercial use of the technology, OpenLink turned to Mono.

"The specific industry trend here is that when you look at Web services as an emerging technology and a paradigm, one of the fundamental things you ask is, Do you have to rework legacy applications to take advantage of Web services?" Idehen said. "If it means writing a single new line of code, it is opening the possibility of introducing new bugs."

Virtuoso 3.0 with Mono eliminates that possibility, he said, because it requires no disruption of legacy applications to expose them as Web services. A beta of Virtuoso 3.0 will be available this month, he said.

Meanwhile, Candle, of El Segundo, Calif., late last month began shipping its PathWAI suite of WebSphere Application Infrastructure tools. PathWAI includes new tools for developing, deploying and managing applications based on IBMs WebSphere application server technologies.

New York-based AXA Financial Inc. chose WebSphere MQ to streamline and accelerate integration of key resources and applications in different systems. That lets the company achieve the IT agility needed to serve its customers at the highest possible level, said Don Buskard, senior vice president and chief technology officer. AXA has since then beta tested Candles PathWAI "to maximize our WebSphere investment," Buskard said.

"The methodology that Candle has developed for addressing architecture design issues and organizations does not require an army of consultants, allowing us to achieve the results we need while optimizing our consulting expenditures," he said.

OpenLink and Candle are not alone in addressing this issue. Nastel Technologies Inc., of Melville, N.Y., last month said it is working with IBM to deliver a JMX (Java Management Extensions) API for WebSphere MQ. The API will enable management tools supporting JMX to manage WebSphere MQ Everyplace. The API will ship with WebSphere MQ Everyplace, Nastel said.

Separately, MKS Inc. last month announced MKS Toolkit 8.5, a new version of the Fairfax, Va., companys tools for developing and managing applications across Unix, Linux and Windows. New in this release are SNMP and Secure Shell tools, an enhanced graphical development environment, and automated communications and notification, among other things. MKS also unveiled AlertCentre 2.0, a new version of the companys agentless system monitoring solution for Windows.

Finally, Pittsburgh-based LogicLibrary Inc. last month unveiled its QuickStart prepackaged software and services to help enterprises develop Web services. The offering includes a 60-day pilot project using the companys Logidex software development asset mapping and discovery engine and five days of consulting. Then LogicLibrary issues a Web services enablement strategy, the company said.