Vendors aim to simplify e-commerce management

BMC Software and Computer Associates revealed separate initiatives last week that are designed to help users streamline the operational efficiencies of their electronic-commerce infrastructures. While BMC focused on electronic-business management, CA's announcement was aimed at users wanting to bring their IBM OS/390-based systems into the e-commerce age.

BMC's Service Assurance for E-Business initiative is made up of several solutions and technologies intended to provide application-service assurance and better service levels for enterprise customers.

"In a nutshell, it's holistic e-commerce management," said Bob Beauchamp, senior vice president of product management and development at BMC.

The initiative combines three BMC solutions: Patrol for E-Business Management, Mainview for E-Business Management, and Service Assurance Centre for E-Business.

Patrol for E-Business Management helps manage network devices, Web servers, and firewalls with BMC management products, such as Patrol for Firewalls; Patrol for Microsoft Site Server, Commerce Edition; and Patrol for Internet Services.

Mainview for E-Business Management consists of a slew of offerings targeting IBM's OS/390 platform, including Mainview for WebSphere, Mainview for Network Management, and Mainview for Systems Management. Transaction monitoring and database connectors are provided as well.

The third piece of BMC's initiative, the Service Assurance Centre, combines methodology, products, and services into a management solution designed to improve availability and emphasise the importance of e-business management.

"An e-business outage today is a brand-devastating event," Beauchamp said. "Managing all of the back office for e-business isn't sexy, but it's absolutely required."

One analyst welcomed BMC's moves to provide application-service assurance.

"[BMC has] identified application-service assurance as their particular forte and put together a pretty comprehensive story to make that happen," said Rich L. Ptak, vice president of systems and application management at the Hurwitz Group, in Framingham, Massachusetts.

BMC also announced Java Applet Response-Time Analyzer (JARTA) technology, which plants Java applets in a client and will monitor end-user response times all the way through a transaction, Beauchamp said. Using JARTA, companies can find specific pages that are slowing down transactions, he added.

The Patrol for E-Business Management product family will ship in the first quarter of 2000, with pricing starting at $US2,000. Officials said all products and services under the Service Assurance for E-Business initiative will be released between now and March 2000.

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