Web Site Monitoring Tool Broadens Scope

Freshwater Software's SiteScope Web site monitoring tool now covers Web services.

Freshwater Software on Monday extended its SiteScope active Web site monitoring tool to cover Web services.

The wholly owned subsidiary of Mercury Interactive Corp., based in Boulder, Colo., added SiteScope monitors that can monitor the availability of Web services without using agent instrumentation.

The new SiteScope monitors, which generate synthetic transactions to test availability and response times, make the same type of call to a known Web service that an application would make, according to company officials.

The monitors support Simple Object Access Protocol, Dynamic Web Services Description Language invocations as well as eXtensible Markup Language Schema complex data types.

Diagnostics and dependency checking can also be automated by raising alerts that invoke a Web service.

Management tools for Web services are just beginning to reach the market. Only a handful of point tools providers such as Empirix, AmberPoint and others are shipping Web services management tools. They have a way to go before they are mature, believes Corey Ferengul, industry analyst with Meta Group Inc. in Chicago.

"You are able to exercise it, but it cant tell me how its (a Web service) operating," Ferengul said of the new SiteScope Web services monitors.

This limitation is due to the limited performance data that Web services developers make available, he added.

The SiteScope Web monitors also provide the ability to summon a diagnostic Web service when the base Web service fails. That capability, if it is widely adopted by Web services developers, holds a lot of promise, believes Bill Gassman, industry analyst with Gartner Inc., in Amherst, N.H.

"Web services are a collection of things an application can do. You can have a self-diagnostic test in the Web service. For people developing Web services, having a self-diagnostic that can be invoked by a management system makes a lot of sense," he said.

The SiteScope Web services monitors are available now from Freshwater in version 7.6 of SiteScope. They are priced starting at $2,995.

Since Mercury Interactive acquired Freshwater Software in May of last year, the company has more than doubled the number of monitors specific to networking devices, Web servers, databases, application servers and more. It now has 65 such monitors.