Systinet upgrades Web services suite

Systinet on Monday plans to release Version 4.0 of WASP (Web Applications and Services Platform), its suite of products for building and managing Web services that features improvements in areas such as security and performance. A new pricing structure also is being detailed that enables developers to build test applications for free.

The platform consists of the WASP Developer development tool; UDDI, a registry for registering Web services in a UDDI (Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration) directory; and Server, a Web services platform available in versions for Java or C++ programming.

Systinet has improved security in WASP, offering support for the HTTP Basic and HTTP Digest mechanisms for authentication and encryption. Previous versions of the product supported just SSL (Secure Sockets Layer) security.

"SSL allows you to encrypt a message, but it doesn't give you a mechanism to find out who the [user] is," said Systinet CTO Anne Thomas Manes.

Systinet also is adding a browser-based Web services management console to monitor applications and meter service requests.

Performance and scalability have been improved through optimization of the WASP XML processing system, to remove limits to the number of concurrent users, according to Systinet, based in Cambridge, Mass.

Java standards support has been added for JAX-RPC (Java TM API for XML-basedRemote Procedure Call) which is a standard API for SOAP (Simple Object Access Protocol); JAX-M, for messaging, and SAAJ (SOAP with Attachments API for Java), for manual constructing of SOAP messages.

Systinet also has enhanced capabilities for interoperability with Microsoft .Net, making it easier to use .Net as a client to WASP or vice-versa. Previously, a lot of custom coding was required for this.

A new pricing structure makes WASP Server 4.0 free for deployment on a single CPU. Larger deployments cost $2,000 per CPU. This enables developers to test the product free of charge.

WASP developer tools are free. The UDDI product costs US$10,000 per CPU.

An analyst said Systinet offers superior performance for Web services.

"Arguably, they have the best-performing Web services run time available," said Susan Aldrich, senior vice president of the Patricia Seybold Group in Boston. WASP 4.0 also puts the company ahead of others in security, Aldrich said.

The only concern some enterprises might have about Systinet is its size in relation to giant competitors such as IBM and Microsoft, Aldrich said. Systinet is a 2-year-old company.

"The whole world worries, 'If I choose this small company, will they still be around in a few years?'" Aldrich said.

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