Iona unveils tools for middleware 'renovation'

SAN FRANCISCO (10/17/2003) - Iona Technologies PLC on Monday plans to announce four new services-oriented integration products under the Artix moniker.

The Artix software line is designed to enable what Iona's CTO Eric Newcomer has referred to as "renovating" existing middleware and consolidating legacy systems.

"We're trying to take lessons learned from CORBA and apply those to problems that our customers have," Newcomer said.

The four Artix products include Relay, Encompass, Mainframe, and Migrate. Artix Relay can be used to build and deploy Web services links to middleware such as CORBA, MQSeries, Tuxedo, and Tibco. The Encompass product enables IT shops to renovate applications built on existing middleware platforms so that they are fit to be reused and extended. Artix Mainframe is specialized for CICS (Customer Information Control System) and IMS(Intelligent Manufacturing Systems) transactions and can expose those as Web services. Migrate, for its part, serves to consolidate middleware to improve business executions.

Newcomer added that the Artix family can be used to build SOAs for accessing applications through Web standards and protocols.

"We've made real the perpetual promise of Web-enabled Web services," Newcomer said.

Other companies are going down the SOA road as well, including Microsoft Corp., IBM Corp., and BEA Systems Inc., all of which are weaving integration into their respective platforms. EAI players, such as webMethods Inc., Tibco Software Inc., and SeeBeyond Technology Corp., are also embracing the SOA model. For instance, webMethods this week bought The Mind Electric Inc. for its Web services and SOA technologies.

"Iona is unique in that they've been doing integration for a while with CORBA," said Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink LLC. "But Web services gives them a second bite of the apple because it's more widespread than CORBA."

Relay and Encompass are available now; Migrate and Mainframe will ship later this quarter, Newcomer said.

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