NxLight bucks Web services timetable

Despite industry resignation that the immaturity of Web services standards are hindering widespread adoption, NxLight Corp. has quietly rolled out an environment that argues to the contrary.

The Salt Lake City-based transaction platform developer on Wednesday officially launched the NTN (NxLight Transaction Network) here at TechXNY in one of the early examples of a practical, working Web services environment.

Designed specifically for vertical industries, the NTN environment electronically facilitates an entire transaction process such as insurance applications, contracts, and government filings. Its primary claim is that it can dramatically reduce the time and cost associated with manual, paper-based transaction processes.

NxLight executives report the company recently signed on two as-yet-unnamed financial institutions as customers, while NTNs are currently in operation with the State of Utah and Novell Inc.

The transaction platform incorporates a self-contained XML processing engine and a stateless architecture, giving it the advantage of avoiding direct database connections. As a result, the network can simultaneously handle the multiple processes required to complete the transaction.

NxLight is the first company to apply IP packet types to enforceable transactions, and as such has patents pending, claimed president and COO Douglas Clark.

NTN does not require any "fancy APIs" and is agnostic when it comes to leveraging Web services platforms such as J2EE (Java 2 Enterprise Edition) or .Net, according to Executive Vice President Jeffrey Jones.

"We're higher up the stack, this is application-level Web services," Jones explained. NTN uses XML to embed Web services instructions in transaction statements, giving it the ability to support Web services as they emerge from standards bodies or directly from vendors such as IBM and Microsoft, he said. "Whatever they do, we will support. Those standards are not designed to be driven down into enforceability."

NTN is now available on a license basis as a set of online and offline-based services.

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