Web Services Tools Take Different Tacks

Swingtide, Blue Titan approach Web services management from different perspectives.

Two Web services management software suppliers announced new products, approaching the issue of managing Web services from two different perspectives.

Both Swingtide Inc., Portsmouth, N.H., and Blue Titan Software Inc., San Francisco, announced new Web services management solutions, with Swingtide offering a more passive solution and Blue Titan delivering a more active Web services management solution, analysts say.

Swingtide made its announcement at this weeks annual Association for Cooperative Operations Research and Development (ACORD) conference in Orlando, Fla. The company announced two new products, Swingtide Monitor and Swingtide Scorecard, which enable users to view, analyze and manage the data they send via ACORD, the Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) or XML standards, the company said. Swingtide Monitor monitors the growth and business usage of Web services and XML networks and not the performance of the physical network, the company said. The Swingtide Scorecard is a methodology for improving the potential return on investments from XML Web services.

Swingtide launched its products at the ACORD conference, which is a gathering of insurance industry professionals. Company officials said the Swingtide products can be tailored to meet the needs of specific industries and the first industry supported is insurance. For the insurance industry, Swingtide has incorporated complete ACORD standards into the products. Future support will be added for banking and securities trading, the company said.

Swingtide said its product suite, which also includes Swingtide Lab, a design and modeling tool for XML networks; and Swingtide Assistant, a knowledge base of XML standards, sets a platform for service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

Meanwhile, Blue Titan announced the release of it Network Director 2.0, its Web services management solution that delivers event-driven control for SOAs. Company officials said the product helps manage Web services by reacting to events and metrics in real time.

New capabilities in Blue Titans Network Director 2.0 include: fabric services, which expose various functions of the product as Web services; active event messaging; adaptive policy execution; SOPA stack interoperability and support for emerging standards such as WS-Security, WS-Policy and WS-ReliableMessaging.

Jason Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, Cambridge, Mass., said he views Swingtide as unique in its category. "Instead of rushing the first version of their software product to market, they developed an extensive professional services offering to build relationships with their customers, build awareness within their selected target industry, and to gather a detailed understanding of their customers needs," Bloomberg said. "Swingtide has thus been able to build a significant revenue stream in advance of launching their first software product, and that product promises to be of a higher quality than competing products that were rushed to market."

Bloomberg called Swingtides approach "passive." "By passive, we mean that it monitors XML activity without affecting it, and provides visibility into the XML on a companys network. In contrast, Blue Titan has an active management approach that controls the traffic, insuring reliability and actively managing security policies."

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