Metaserver Beefs Up Integration Software

Version 4.0 offers enhanced modeling environment, business process engine, support for XML.

Metaserver Inc. this week will unveil a new version of its namesake business process integration software that has been upgraded to help users better automate existing business processes, create new ones, and integrate processes with legacy and disparate systems.

Metaserver 4.0, aimed at midmarket companies, maps processes to business objectives without the need for additional code, messaging infrastructures or application servers, according to officials, in New Haven, Conn.

Features in Version 4.0 include an enhanced modeling environment, a fault-tolerant process engine and new connector technology.

Enhancements to the Metaserver Modeling Environment add support for complex data structures that enable the creation and transformation of real business data structures within a business process, officials said. An enhanced process designer allows for concurrent processing, looping, conditional processing and exception handling—all in a drag-and-drop environment.

At the same time, the mapping designer facilitates data mapping and transformations in an improved graphical interface for better integration between systems. Redesigned meta-link wizards help to lessen the need for coding by using metadata to create connections to disparate systems.

Metaserver 4.0s Business Process Integration engine, which provides the environment for executing business processes, has been updated as well. This includes enhanced run-time support for managing complex data structures, concurrent execution as well as data and control flow rules.

Additional features in Version 4.0 include support for XML within Metaservers mapping designer that allows complex data structures to be used within a business process. The upgrade provides broader connectivity using Simple Object Access Protocol, Web Services Description Language, and support for the Universal Description, Discovery and Integration registry, allowing for process exposure and interactions among Web services.

"The biggest thing [in Version 4.0] is what theyve done with the data layer," said Bill Franklin, director of IT at Matanuska Telephone Association Inc., which is using Metaserver 4.0. "Theyve detached the data layer and turned it into data structures. You can embed your own editing and stuff like that.

"It allows you to divorce the need of having to define complex data relationships when youre defining an application control language," said Franklin, in Palmer, Alaska.