Monday, 17 December 2007

SOA – still offering availability

In a year that saw data centres wanting to turn themselves green and mid-range server users discovering that virtualization (or sometimes simply emulation) was the ONLY project worth working on, we find that the acronym of the year 2006 is still with us and still remarkably youthful and invigorated. Yes, despite the important also-rans mentioned above, SOA wins the award of acronym of the year 2007 for the second time in row – a feat last achieved in the heady days of client/server.

SOA – Service-Oriented Architecture (or humorously referred to as Same Old Architecture) – is still, as late in the year as December, getting product announcements linked to it.

For example, Iona Technologies has just announced it is updating its Artix and Fuse SOA products. Artix is a suite of SOA infrastructure products designed to enable customers to deploy SOA in a distributed environment. Version 5.1 of the Artix Advanced SOA Infrastructure Suite include: Version 5.1 of Artix ESB, Version 5.1 of Artix Orchestration, Version 1.5 of Artix Registry/Repository, and Version 3.6.3 of Artix Data Services. Iona claims that Artix Registry/Repository allows customers to utilize their active SOA governance capabilities to effectively develop, test, deploy, and manage the life-cycle of services across their distributed SOA environments. With the update, ActiveBPEL 4.0, which is embedded in the Artix Orchestration software product, now supports BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) 2.0, which offers capabilities for message attachments and additional security.

New to the Fuse line is Fuse HQ, which acts as a management console to manage open source products from a single console. It also can manage software such as Web servers. Fuse HQ is based on Hyperic Enterprise technology. Other Fuse products updated include Version 3.3 of Fuse ESB 3.3 (based on Apache ServiceMix 3.3), Version 5.0 of Fuse Message Broker 5.0 (based on Apache ActiveMQ 5.0), Version 2.0.3 of Fuse Services Framework 2.0.3 (based on the Apache CXF 2.0.3 project), and Version 1.3 of Fuse Mediation Router (based on Apache Camel 1.3).

DataDirect Technologies (part of Progress Software) has announced Version 3.1 of its DataDirect XML Converters and DataDirect XQuery products. DataDirect XML Converters are Java and .NET components providing bi-directional, programmatic access to most non-XML files including flat files and other legacy formats.

Quite separately, Quest Software has agreed to buy PassGo Technologies, a company specializing in access control and identity management products. What makes PassGo interesting is that it was founded in 1983 and was then acquired by Axent. Axent was then taken over by Symantec, and then in 2001 the original founders did a management buyout and got the company back again. OK, nothing to do with SOA, I just thought it was interesting.
So SOA is still an important component of the enterprise environment as we come to the end of 2007.

What else is important? Filling in the mainframe user survey at; if you’re a vendor, filling in the vendor survey at And if you are an IMS site or IMS vendor then join the Virtual IMS Connection virtual user group at

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