WebMethods pries lid off Web services strategy

WebMethods plans to describe a new concept it calls 'Enterprise Web Services' next Tuesday at Forrester Research Inc.'s technology leadership forum entitled Web Services: The Next Technology Strategy, in Scottsdale, Ariz.

The concept pulls together three sets of existing technologies: the WebMethods integration platform, technology to Web services-enable existing applications, and the ability to manage Web services, company officials said.

"We're trying to help customers take a look at the big picture. Once Web services are developed and deployed, management comes into the picture," said Kim Trudel, vice president of Enterprise Web Services at WebMethods, in Fairfax, Va.

To accomplish that, WebMethods added support within its integration platform for Web services standards XML, SOAP (simple object access protocol), and WSDL (Web Services Description Language). These three protocols, along with UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery and Integration), form the foundation of Web services thus far.

On top of the integration platform and Web services support, WebMethods offers management capabilities via the Open Management Interface, a specification that WebMethods and Hewlett-Packard, along with Tivoli, BMC and Computer Associates, hope to make a standard for combining integration software with systems and enterprise management systems.

The management capabilities that WebMethods offers include Web services as well as integration and business processes, Trudel said. "We don't make a distinction between Web services and other kinds of services," she added.

EAI players Tibco, SeeBeyond, and Vitria have added support for Web services over the last few months as well. Microsoft is also making a push into EAI with BizTalk Server which, naturally, supports Web services and plays a role in the company's overall .Net strategy.

"It's not like WebMethods is doing anything that everybody else in this space won't do. They're just getting there sooner," said Carolyn White, an analyst at Stamford, Conn.-based Meta Group.

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