In the SOA space it might be said that customers are overwhelmed with choices.
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With so many vendors and little time to figure out how they all fit together, increasingly customers are demanding that vendors provide a clearer view of how various SOA management, policy and security products will work together.
"The gun at our head from the customer's point of view is how do we hold this whole SOA 'marketecture' together," said Ed Horst, marketing vice president for AmberPoint Inc., a provider of SOA management software.
In an attempt to get the customer guns pointed in another direction, AmberPoint and Reactivity Inc., the XML acceleration, security and firewall appliance provider, announced today that they are integrating their products. The goal is to give network managers working in an SOA environment a single view for what is going on with their systems.
With this integration, SOA network administrators will get a single view at the AmberPoint console of security, policy enforcement and performance from data fed directly by Reactivity's XML Security Gateway and other products, Horst said.
"Previously those things were managed independently of each other, but with this integration you now get to go one place to administer things and get visibility," he said.
Andrew Nash, Reactivity's CTO, said as SOA implementations are becoming more complex he is also hearing from customers who want a single view of what is going on with their networks.
"On the customer side what we're seeing is that folks have a desperate need to get much better insight into what's going on within their XML-enabled networks," he said. "Policies are being applied on different parts of the XML-enabled network, service-oriented architecture. The range of those is really extensive. The challenge is how do you know what's going on in a system when you've got many services, many end systems and network appliances?"
The two vendors said the integration of their products, which they will provide free of charge to their customers, will help network managers by providing:
- Wire-speed policy enforcement integrated with end-point policy enforcement that spans heterogeneous platforms and infrastructure
- Integrated service auto-discovery, service level management, exception management, security and routing capabilities to govern service networks at runtime
- A multi-tier architecture for SOA policy enforcement, extending management and security capabilities to both the network and service endpoints
Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with ZapThink LLC., sees "pairwise partnerships" like the one between AmberPoint and Reactivity are becoming common in the SOA management tools space, as are acquisitions. It is a response to customers need to get a handle on how the various products will work together.
The other vendor response that Bloomberg sees is the formation of what he calls "SOA ecosystems." This began with Mercury Interactive's Systinet division forming the Governance Interoperability Framework, of which AmberPoint and Reactivity are members, Bloomberg said. It is continuing with SOA Link, which was organized this spring by Infravio Inc. to help the registry/repository, security and testing vendors demonstrate their interoperability. He also sited the formation of the CentraSite community by Software AG and Fujitsu Inc., with the stated purpose of "uniting partners to deliver standards-based, interoperable SOA solutions."
"As these groups mature, they promise to provide real value to enterprises that might be reluctant working with too many individual vendors," Bloomberg said.