Iona adds enterprise products to Web services lineup

Boosting its Web services lineup, Iona Technologies PLC on Wednesday will ship the Collaborate and Partner editions of its Orbix E2A Web Services Integration Platform.

These products round out Iona's Web services integration platform, said John Rymer, vice president of marketing at Waltham, Mass.-based Iona.

"We now are providing an integration product line that spans from the low end up to enterprise-class," Rymer said.

The Orbix E2A Web Services Integration Platform Collaborate Edition includes QoS, security, and packaged application adapters for SAP AG, PeopleSoft Inc. and Baan Co. NV. The Collaborate Edition also adds support for the ebXML and RosettaNet protocols.

Iona's Partner Edition is designed as a business-to-business integration tool for connecting to trading partners.

At the low-end, Iona offers the E2A XMLBus Edition, which is designed for development, deployment and management of Web services and integration.

Rymer said that Iona's platform differentiates itself from the other application server vendors wares in that Iona based it on native Web services standards, rather than tacking support for such standards onto existing applications and integration platforms.

"We're making the whole architecture based on Web services standards," Rymer said. He continued that in so doing Iona is producing a more flexible architecture that is less expensive than what competitors offer.

Shawn Willett, a principal analyst at Sterling Va.-based Current Analysis Inc., said that Iona offers EAI (enterprise application integration), whereas most of the other vendors tie integration to the application server.

"Iona has Web services support, but so do Microsoft, BEA and the other players. What Iona has done, though, is merged that with back-end integration," Willett said.

As a result, companies can build a Web service, or other applications for that matter, and have them call on information from the back-end systems via Iona technology, including an application server, EAI and CORBA tools.

Microsoft Corp., for its part, earlier this week released a new incarnation of its data integration platform, BizTalk Server 2002. The latest version of BizTalk includes tighter integration with the Visual Studio.Net toolkit that Microsoft will formally launch next Wednesday, thereby enabling developers to use the server and tools to take advantage of Web services protocols to integrate business processes.

"It starts to look a little bit similar," Willett said.

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