Actional Ramps Up Its Web Services Management Software

The company's Looking Glass and SOAPstation version 5.5 have new features that seek to help customers track transactions.

Web services management provider Actional Corp. on Monday will take its service-oriented architecture management to the next level of maturity when it launches its Looking Glass and SOAPstation version 5.5 monitoring and management software.

The Mountain View, Calif., company in serving customers who are taking SOA projects beyond the pilot phase added a laundry list of new features intended to help customers track transactions as they traverse non-SOA and non-XML environments, as they traverse multiple servers in a cluster, and as they slowly execute in asynchronous processes that can take days to complete.

SOAP applications "are wrappering and consuming legacy applications," said David Gehringer, vice president of marketing in Mountain View.

"Users need to continue to get control and visibility across those items as well, and they dont want another silo. The idea of SOA is having a heterogeneous environment managed agnostically to get entire visibility into the whole process," he said.

/zimages/3/28571.gifClick here to read more insight on service-oriented architectures from columnist Peter Coffee.

Toward that end, Looking Glass 5.5 includes new Ghost Agents that can provide visibility and control over transactions as they travel across non-XML environments and physical barriers.

The "weightless agents" dont exact a performance penalty as they provide visibility into and beyond JDBC (Java Database Connectivity), RMI (Remote Method Invocation), EJB (Enterprise Java Bean), JBoss, JMS (Java Message Service), Systinet, Sarvega and Reactivity services, according to Gehringer.

"Say if you have a logistics server on JBoss, you can know where [the transaction] went from it and when it came back. You get granular vision and one-hop-off visibility," said Gehringer.

The new release also allows IT operations personnel to track individual transactions across each member of a server cluster, including multiple application instances within a CPU, server blades or in separate hardware.

The intent is to allow IT operators to speed troubleshooting and problem resolution for failures in a business process that executes across a cluster.

The new release also helps users to better track SLAs (Service Level Agreements) and provide exception notification for asynchronous, long-running transactions that can take hours or days to complete.

"Its becoming clear for everyone to understand a business process doesnt complete itself in eight seconds. There are a number of processes spawned [to complete a single transaction]. Customers need visibility, and they need to track SLAs against an entire process that can take days—from order to fulfillment. And they want reporting of non-events. If an ordered item doesnt leave the warehouse, they want notification of that," said Gehringer.

Actional also improved on the security in its SOAPstation 5.5 Web service broker by integrating with RSAs ClearTrust single sign-on capability, which allows users to reinforce access management at the perimeter and inside the firewall.

The new release uses the URL-based Certificate Revocation List to enforce current security authorization at the perimeter and inside the firewall.

The new releases are available now.

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