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Progress/Actional SOA diagnostic tool builds on Mindreef purchase

Progress Software announced the first major integration of Actional SOA performance and governance products and technology gained with last year's acquisition of SOAP-test pioneer Mindreef. Actional Diagnostics is a developer desktop product for building and testing XML based services, including SOAP, REST, and POX.

Progress Software announced the first major integration of Actional SOA performance and governance products and technology gained with last year's acquisition of SOAP-test pioneer Mindreef. Actional Diagnostics is a developer desktop product for building and testing XML based services, including SOAP, REST, and POX.

The software combines elements of the Mindreef SoapScope tool with Actional technology that provides a view into the behavior of individual services. Actional Diagnostics is now in limited beta, but is expected to be made available as a free download.

An Actional add-in to the package is Actional X-Ray, based on Actional Flow Mapping technology. This provides a picture of interdependencies along a transactional path - messages sent, EJB invocations, DB queries, and the like.

"A lot of tools treat a service as a black box, and this does not help much in many cases. With X-Ray, it shows you all the services that your service depends on, including, for example, EJBs," said Dan Foody, vice president of the Progress Actional Products Division.

The adoption of Mindreef technology in the larger Actional suite allows broader coverage of integration performance problems, indicated Frank Grossman, Mindreef founder, now a VP of technology with Progress.

"At Mindreef we mostly concentrated on the SOAP aspects of the services. With Actional, we are looking at services as part of a larger picture," he said. "We are also looking at a larger part of the life cycle - beyond development."

Also included in Actional Diagnostics is load checking. This allows users to test performance of services before they are delivered to a performance testing team. A view is provided on many simultaneous threads or users per service, CPU, and, for example, Java VM use. Grossman described this as "load for the masses, not just the lab people."

Progress/Actional's Foody indicated such diagnostic tools can improve SOA project success rates. Progress is counting that developers finding the free tool to be useful will upgrade to server based versions of the larger Actional software suite.

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