Tibco backs Silverlight for rich environment

Vendor allies itself with Microsoft

Tibco Software is throwing its support behind Microsoft's new Silverlight browser plug-in technology for rich internet applications and is also offering users of Microsoft web services technology an alternative message platform.

Also on the agenda is the addition of predictive service level agreement management for SOA, via the company's ActiveMatrix platform.

Tibco is committing to utilise Silverlight in future development when the company wants to deliver an "extremely rich user experience" in the browser, says Rourke McNamara, director of product marketing for SOA. The technology could be used in applications such as a new version of the ActiveMatrix administration interface.

"We're officially announcing that we've selected this as a technology that we will use," McNamara says. "This is our strategic direction for rich internet applications when it comes to our products."

While not contractually obliged to use Silverlight, Tibco plans to use it when Ajax (asynchronous JavaScript and XML) is not sufficient for a planned web-based user interface, says McNamara.

Tibco likes Silverlight over alternatives, such as Adobe's Flash platform, because developers can leverage existing skill-sets like the ability to develop in C#, McNamara says. Silverlight also presents a lightweight environment, and Microsoft and Tibco have many joint customers, he says.

While committing to use Silverlight internally, McNamara stresses Tibco also integrates with technologies such as Java. Tibco's commitment to Silverlight came after an independent evaluation; Tibco did not negotiate with Microsoft over the arrangement, Tibco says, but Microsoft was supportive during the evaluation.

Tibco will also offer its Tibco Enterprise Message Service platform as an alternative messaging channel for use with Microsoft's Windows Communication Foundation platform for web services. It can be used in lieu of Microsoft Message Queueing to provide greater scalability and accommodate extremely high traffic, says McNamara.

Also, Tibco is announcing the Service Performance Manager module providing predictive performance capabilities to the ActiveMatrix platform for SOA services.

"[The module] allows you to monitor and manage the performance of your SOA services. What sets our offering apart in the market is the fact that it predicts problems before they occur and automatically, without human intervention, takes action to prevent those problems," McNamara says.

Users can enter business-level service level agreement information for services, whereupon Service Performance Manager monitors the load and performance of these services and predicts service performance problems before they occur, says McNamara.

For example, a telecommunications company might have a spike in messages; the module would monitor performance, learn usage patterns over time, and automatically deploy new instances of a service on additional hardware during peak hours.

Service Performance Manager can also look at the payload of a service and take appropriate action based on the level of service a customer pays for, such as devoting more service to gold-level customers.

The new module is being added to ActiveMatrix 2.0 in late-May. It will cost US$25,000 (NZ$31,000).

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