Opinion: Commerce One clings to Web services . . .

Commerce One clings to Web services . . . . . . for a technology life raft while the company morphs along with e-business. Narry Singh, the newly ensconced senior vice president of marketing at Commerce One Operations Inc. in Pleasanton, Calif., recounts the various -- some might say muddled -- past lives of the company and admits somewhat ruefully that, again, "our current era is one of reinvention." A big part of the change inside and outside the company, he says, is a shift to Web services. Still, Singh doubts that offering a 100 percent Java Web services technology gives Commerce One an advantage in the market. ("We say, 'It's ROI, not UDDI.' ") But the (now) Internet supply chain software provider has made a big bet on Web services with Conductor 6.0, which eats and breathes SOAP, WSDL and their ilk. Now in beta, the software will ship in February. The company's MarketSite users will have to wait for their migration tools until summer '03, when the 6.1 upgrade gets released.

The mother lode for Web services will be mainframes, which is where Paul Roth, CTO at Tampa, Fla.-based CommerceQuest Inc., is digging with his company's Nov. 15 release of CICS Process Integrator (CPI) 7.0. The software, which turns any CICS resource into an available Web service, comes in two parts -- the developer environment and a runtime engine. Interestingly, it uses the new open-source Eclipse developer framework, which Roth says is pretty cool. CPI 7.0 runs on either OS/390 or zOS mainframes and will set you back US$50,000 for starters.

Next month's also when users of BMC Software Inc.'s Patrol Storage Management (PSM) 3.1 will get Patrol Storage Automation-Provisioning, which lets SAN admins set policies to offload routine tasks such as allocating more disk space to database tables. For now it works only with EMC and Hitachi drives, Brocade Communications Systems Inc. and McData Corp. switches, Windows 2000 and Solaris operating systems, and the Oracle database. PSM users with IBM and HP drives and AIX and HP-UX operating systems will have to wait for the next release in '03. DB2 and Sybase databases are also on BMC's to-do list. Microsoft Corp.'s SQL Server didn't make the cut.

An adviser on the President's Panel for Science and Technology, Kenneth Nwabueze, predicts that by mid-to-late 2003 security experts will be able to locate the source for Internet attacks in near-real time. Even attacks that use proxy computers as go-between systems will get nailed by the new tools in development. While talking about new stuff, Nwabueze, who's CEO of SageMetrics Corp. in North Hollywood, Calif., also revealed that on Nov. 11 users of his company's Web analytic product, SageAnalyst Real Time, which went live today, will be able to tie it to a service from Digital Envoy in Norcross, Ga., so that Web site owners can instantly know the geographical location of their visitors.

November is also when Keynote Systems Inc. in San Mateo, Calif., will offer Traffic Perspective 1.0, a new service that blends recorded Web site visitor information with synthetic test data to home in on performance problems from both angles in a single view. Speaking of views, the company is testing the waters for its MyKeynote Inside, which gives Web-site operators a real-time look at system performance metrics. Not unlike management systems like HP OpenView. Without the software sticker shock. Should be ready the first half of next year.

MobileWise Inc. in Los Altos, Calif., has techheads buzzing with its inelegantly, albeit accurately, named Wire-Free Electricity Base, a desk-blotter-like pad that recharges mobile devices without cords. You can even spill coffee on it. Pop an adapter into a laptop, PDA and cell phone, then simply set one or more of them on top of the pad to recharge the batteries. It won't be ready in high volume until Q1 '03, but it's a lock to become the alpha-exec's toy of choice. And it'll become an IT issue with an upcoming release that transfers and synchronizes data among recharging devices. Bye-bye, Bluetooth.

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