10 tools to manage SOA

Vendors step up to address the governance, quality and management technology triangle that ensures successful implementations

4. HP's SOA Manager

What does the product do? Part of HP's Business Technology Optimization for SOA line of SOA software and services, SOA Manager manages loosely coupled application components and Web services. The software can define and maintain a dynamic model of services, including software assets and virtual servers; and manage application and Web services performance within that SOA model, the company says.

Who's using the product? McKesson and Thomson Financial.

More on HP's SOA management play: By acquiring Mercury Interactive (which had acquired SOA vendor Systinet), HP equipped itself with a complete SOA life-cycle management package. "HP covers all three bases: Systinet provides governance tools, Mercury is the quality component, and HP itself has a long and successful history with management tools," says Jason Bloomberg, managing partner at ZapThink.

Quick facts on HP: HP has expanded its technology empire with several recent acquisitions, including last month's US$1.6 billion purchase of Opsware and last year's US$4.5 billion deal for Mercury Interactive. The company, founded in 1939 and named after its founders, William Hewlett and David Packard, reported more than US$100 billion in revenue for fiscal 2007, which ended July 31. CEO Mark Hurd has said he's on a mission to build the company's software division -- less than 2 percent of the total 2006 revenue -- into the business that defines HP going forward.

5. IBM's Tivoli Composite Application Manager (ITCAM) for SOA

What does the product do? It monitors, manages and controls the Web-services layer of IT architectures, and identifies the source of bottlenecks or failures.

Who's using the product? AAA Carolinas, ACI Global, St. Louis Area Regional Response System and Samsung Group, among others.

More on IBM's SOA management play: IBM provides multiple tools to address SOA management. Its consulting arm taps best practices in helping customers deploy and manage SOA environments.

"IBM's [SOA and Web-services management] solution, composed of 13 WebSphere and Tivoli products, is a strong performer. A firm that deployed all of these products would have a very deep solution for SOA management, but the sheer number of products would be daunting for many," writes Merv Adrian, a Forrester analyst, in a recent report. "Still, firms that are looking to provide individual, targeted elements of SOA management may be able to find what they need in a much smaller set of IBM's products."

Quick facts on IBM: Officially incorporated in 1911, IBM expanded its management software business in 1996, when it acquired innovative start-up Tivoli Systems. The purchase immediately strengthened Big Blue in distributed systems management and application management. With US$91.4 billion in revenue for 2006 (and close to US$50 billion reported so far this year), IBM is trailing behind top competitor HP in revenue, but its software business -- ranked second in size behind Microsoft -- represented 20 percent of its total revenue in 2006. CEO Sam Palmisano has said the company plans to bring that number up to 50 percent.

6. iTKO's LISA Enterprise SOA Testing platform

What does the product do? Aimed at Web developers, the software performs unit, regression, functional and load testing, as well as postdeployment monitoring tasks. It is a no-code solution, the company says.

Who's using the product? American Airlines, EOS International, Lockheed Martin, Pfizer and Wyndham International, among others.

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