The nature of Web services—machine-to-machine and loosely coupled—may for once let the management functions of a new technology keep pace with its deployment and adoption. And just as unexpected, or even more so to some, is the early embracing of that need by a large player in the enterprise management space.
Computer Associates International Inc. plans to release by years end its Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) tool and is actively working to create standards for managing Web services with the help of IBM and Talking Blocks Inc., which will soon be acquired by Hewlett-Packard Co.
CA last July acquired Adjoin Solutions Inc., and its technology provides the foundation for Unicenter WSDM. CA enhanced the Adjoin product with additional features and functions, and then integrated the tool with the Unicenter console, so that Unicenter operators can receive alerts from the Web services management tool, according to Marc Camm, director of business development for the office of the CTO at CA in Islandia, NY.
Unicenter WSDM will observe Web services transactions and make an assessment of the overall performance, health and availability of the services based on parameters set by operators. When performance degrades or services fail, it will send an alert to its own console or the overall Unicenter console as well as to an e-mail inbox. It can also send a page, Camm said.
The forthcoming tool will also discover Web services automatically and measure performance over time as well as set its own thresholds.
Meanwhile, AmberPoint Inc. continues to roll out a series of Web services management applications. While CAs Web services management strategy emphasizes self-contained point tools that can also integrate with its other offerings (for example, Unicenter WSDM also integrates with Unicenter for WebLogic, Unicenter for WebSphere and Unicenter for .Net), AmberPoint takes a platform approach.
To date, AmberPoint has released its AmberPoint Management Foundation, AmberPoint Service Level Manager. The company expects to release its new AmberPoint Exception Manager by mid-October.
AmberPoint Exception Manager will watch for and identify Web services faults at a system- and business-process level. It automatically detects the faults, breaks them down into smaller pieces for analysis by individual agents, and then collects and analyzes their feedback to isolate the fault.
AmberPoint officials say that setting up its software is "all point and click," and that the agents it uses to monitor different Web services work across its offerings and can be easily updated to work with new tools as they are added, according to Ed Horst, vice president of marketing for the company in Oakland, Calif.
CA, meanwhile, is moving forward with its Web services management strategy on three fronts. It is developing a new combined security and Web services management product; enabling existing CA products to "use web services for better interaction" and it is working to create management on-demand as hosted Web services, Camm said. CA is also working on an OEM version of Unicenter WSDM.
On the standards front, CA on September 10th submitted a draft proposal with IBM and Talking Blocks for a standard intended to allow Web services to be managed at the services level across different Web services implementations and platforms. The proposal was submitted to the OASIS technical committee.
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(Editors Note: This story has been modified since its original posting to eliminate a misidentified source.)