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CA Gets Wise About Web Services Management
By Clint Boulton

December 8, 2003

Computer Associates International (Quote, Chart) Monday joined a batch of smaller software vendors Monday when it unveiled its first Web services management platform.

The Islandia, N.Y., company’s Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) is the latest entry in a crowded but consolidating space.

CA built the platform, which ensures proper distribution of software services across the enterprise, with technology from its acquisition of Adjoin. Hewlett-Packard (Quote, Chart) recently bought Talking Blocks to offer its own brand of Web services management software.

These large vendors want to compete with smaller outfits such as Actional, Amber Point and Confluent Software in a space analysts say is key to advancing Web services to its multi-billion-dollar potential.

Unicenter WSDM (pronounced “wisdom”), which runs on Windows 2000/XP, Linux and Solaris, also fits CA’s overall strategy of providing complete management solutions for enterprise customers, according to Dmitri Tcherevik, vice president of Web services at CA.

Based on the Web Services Management Framework (WSMF) specification CA created in conjunction with IBM, Tcherevik said WSDM automatically discovers, tests and monitors J2EE- and .NET-based Web services, sending real-time alerts in case of a problem.

Unicenter Management for WebSphere and Unicenter Management for WebLogic provide a window-view into, and control over, the performance of the application servers, back-end messaging and database systems, application components and Web transactions.

Tcherevik told that WSDM are needed for the complex Web of communications that occur in Web services architecture, where hundreds of applications must talk to one another to complete tasks such as e-commerce transactions. If just one of these applications fails to communicate properly, the system can get knotted up and the transaction may fail.

Problems like these are devastating to businesses that rely on electronic transactions. While large outfits such as Microsoft, IBM and others were designing Web services frameworks, smaller vendors, such as Actional and AmberPoint, were busy developing corresponding platforms to manage the frameworks.

Tcherevik said CA’s goal upon purchasing Adjoin, was to create a management framework to corral such transactions at the service level. Despite the competition from smaller outfits, Tcherevik said CA has more resources to throw at platform maintenance and promised to provide “more breadth and depth” than rivals’ offerings.

CA already has a supporting cast and customers lined up. BEA Systems, Collaxa, DataPower Technology, JBoss, Microsoft, Mindreef, Sun Microsystems and Systinet are crafting solutions that integrate with WSDM.

Tcherevik said MapPoint, which is the technology behind Microsoft’s mapping and location services platforms, will use Unicenter WSDM to supervise 15 million daily transactions.

In related news, Confluent Monday updated its Web services management platform, adding cross-platform policy enforcement features. It will be available at the end of December.

Later this week, AmberPoint will unveil a free developer’s tool for monitoring, diagnosing and debugging Java-based Web services.

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