WebMethods reinvents for growth

SINGAPORE (11/18/2003) - WebMethods Inc. has embarked on a new strategy to ensure its long term growth -- it has expanded its portfolio to include offerings in the enterprise service-oriented architecture, business activity monitoring and portal spaces.

The technologies, which will be incorporated in products called WebMethods Fabric, WebMethods Portal and WebMethods Dashboard, come hot on the heels of WebMethods' acquisitions of The Mind Electric (enterprise service oriented architecture), The Dante Group (business activity monitoring) and DataChannel (portals) last month. The offerings will complement the capabilities of the company's flagship integration platform.

In addition, the company is also rebranding itself as a Web services infrastructure company, said Phillip Merrick, chief executive officer and chairman of WebMethods.

Web services are touted as the next big thing because they reduce companies' dependence on proprietary message-oriented middleware (MOM). Crucial to this is the service-oriented architecture or SOA which involves making applications inside the enterprise available to other applications by wrapping them in Web services interfaces. And, Web services wrappers let enterprise developers create simple application-to-application connections without using commercial middleware.

Merrick made these announcements at WebMethods' Integration World 2003 in Orlando, Florida. The event, attended by 1,140 customers, partners and press members, was held in the 1,500-acre lush, tropical resort-like surroundings of the Grand Hyatt Cypress.

Said Merrick, "The holy grail of integration technologies has been the ability to achieve an environment where each enterprise resource is exposed as a service that is accessible by any other service -- an enterprise service oriented architecture."

However, one of the main obstacles in the past has been the pressure on customers to make use of a proprietary approach from Web services, development tools and integration technology vendors.

According to research firm, Gartner Inc., by 2006, more than 60 percent of enterprises will consider SOA a guiding principle in designing their new mission-critical business applications and business processes.

Said Yefim Natis, vice president and research director at Gartner, "Over time, the lack of SOA will become a competitive disadvantage for more enterprises. Mainstream enterprises should invest in understanding SOA and building SOA design and development skills."

The enterprise fabric approach makes achieving an ESOA-based enterprise simple by exploiting the power of any of the disparate resources that make up the enterprise and non-invasively enhancing the limitations of those same resources. The result is that all resources are not only able to participate as part of the ESOA, but they are enhanced to include capabilities such as -service registration, dynamic discovery, distributed security, monitoring, auditing and clustering.

To this end, WebMethods Fabric is capable of universally linking all computing resources into a common enterprise fabric. WebMethods Fabric is built on an enterprise service oriented architecture (ESOA), and bridges J2EE, .Net and legacy systems. This enables customers to run any service, anywhere, anytime.

Merrick said, "The most compelling benefit of utilizing the enterprise fabric for the enterprise IT architecture is the ability to implement a SOA with quality of service capabilities such as security and failover being delivered by the fabric itself. This will allow customers greater flexibility in their selection of enterprise software applications and integration technology as they can now mix and match applications and services with standards-based interoperability and required quality of service being facilitated within the fabric."

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