Grand Centrals Integration as a Service

Business Services Network 4.0 provides business process integration capabilities.

Web services integration software provider Grand Central Communications—responding to a growing trend—is readying what it calls "integration as a service."

The company will announce this week Business Services Network Version 4.0, which enables users to use Web services; legacy-system standards; and newer, emerging standards such as BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) to more quickly create and integrate business processes than traditional integration software.

To date, Business Services Network has delivered over the Internet a standards-based technology stack that enables business processes to communicate over a network without having to use a traditional middleware infrastructure.

Added functionality in Version 4.0 enables business process orchestration through the addition of BPEL4e (BPEL for everything) and a new visual modeling tool, ProcessExpress.

BPEL4e helps companies define and execute complex business processes in Business Services Network regardless of end points, officials said.

With ProcessExpress, users are provided with what is essentially a palette for laying out objects culled from private and publicly available Web services. Users can then tie the objects together through a drag-and-drop mechanism and have the objects tied back to a system of record.

"What this [tool] lets you do is run display logic and computational logic in the browser," said Ron Palmeri, vice president of business development at Grand Central, in San Francisco.

Users can then link to a single discrete service or wire together a variety of services around a specific area, such as customer relationship management, creating processes that are easily shared, Palmeri said.

Grand Centrals Business Services Directory gives users the ability to discover, access, reuse, publish and share services on Business Services Network.

Version 4.0 also brings a broader range of connectivity options through support of the electronic data interchange Internet standard AS/2, inbound FTP and secure FTP.

As it continues to enhance its integration-as-a-service model, Grand Central will add certification for AS/2 and support for different flavors of FTP.