Vitria marries Web services and business process mgmt.

Vitria Technology will announce Monday that it has integrated Web services and business process management in the newest version of its Web services module for its BusinessWare platform.

The new version provides companies with a single environment for business integration of everything from legacy applications to new Web services and the ability to expose any component of the integration solution as a Web service, according to company officials.

To date, Web services have only been used to access simple applications such as checking inventory levels or stock quotes, said Suresh Chandrasekaran, senior director of product management at Sunnyvale, Calif.-based Vitria. However, Vitria's solution will allow companies to further leverage Web services, Chandrasekaran added.

"It can actually take the business integration itself or any component or it, perhaps a process model or a transformation ... and expose that as a Web service," he said. "That's different from saying, 'I have a process model that can call a Web service.' [Companies] can really start to build a services-oriented application infrastructure. They can start combining traditional business process management using the messaging-oriented model and a services-oriented model."

Much of the potential promise of Web services lies in the notion of componentizing business processes and tying them together with Web services into new applications. This would allow companies to quickly adapt applications to new customers and products while allowing IT managers to dynamically modify applications behavior based on changes to business processes.

Vitria's new Version 2.0 is designed to allow an enterprise to take any current BusinessWare process or interface and define, compose, wrap, call, and register it as an internal or external Web service. That makes the process accessible to trading partners, regardless of what internal systems the partners use. In addition, Vitria has built in functionality to allow a Web service with multiple steps -- such as applying for a loan application -- to hold data that is retrieved in real time until data that may take longer to retrieve in subsequent steps is received, Chandrasekaran said.

Because of Vitria's process management strength, it is in a better position to build composite applications, said Jon Derome, an analyst with the Yankee Group in Boston.

"Most integration vendors can consume or generate Web services, but the problem is when you're building lots of Web services. ... What you need is some kind of management capability to bind those pieces appropriately."

Customers can implement their Web services in seconds using Vitria's graphical wizard, which requires no custom coding, company officials said. Vitria's Web Services module 2.0 supports industry standards including SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol) 1.1, XML, XML Schema, and WSDL (Web Services Description Language) 1.1. It is interoperable with .Net and other SOAP servers for partner integration.

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