Exclusive: CoreSV brings management simplicity to Web services
Version 4.0 dramatically simplifies policy creation and application
It starts simply enough. First someone builds a SOAP interface for an internal system; then the next upgrade to your financial package sports a Web services API. At some point you wake up and realize that all these services need to be managed.
Web services management includes not just monitoring but also critical activities such as controlling access, logging transactions, and performing version control. CoreSV 4.0 from Oracle is a Web services management platform that provides all these capabilities in an easy to install and understand package.
As do most enterprise products, CoreSV has a complicated pricing schedule that results in a hefty price tag. Just as I was finishing this review, Oracle acquired Oblix , so the pricing -- not to mention the name -- are likely to change.
CoreSV has three primary components: gateways, which typically sit at the edge of the enterprise network and mediate interaction with outside services; agents, which sit in front of the Web service; and a central management system used to configure and monitor the system.
Simple to the core
I was immediately struck by CoreSV’s easy setup and use. During the past 18 months, CoreSV has been conceptually streamlined, and consequently the user interface has been refined. For example, the new management interface now combines what were three separate components in Version 3.0.
After you’ve installed the solution, setting it up to manage a Web service takes just three steps. First, you configure the gateways and agents and identify them to the management console. Simple installations get away with just a gateway because the gateway’s functionality subsumes that of the agent.
Second, you register existing Web services with a gateway or agent. This is as easy as entering the URL for the service’s WSDL into the management console. CoreSV can also query and import Web service descriptions from one or more UDDI registries.
Finally, you use the management console to configure policies and alarms for each Web service. You can create alarms for specific conditions such as latency, availability, failure, and unauthorized access attempts. An alarm can trigger an e-mail alert or a simple posting on the system console. Alarms can also trigger actions to reroute SOAP messages to other services.
The management console also monitors each Web service’s performance. The graphical dashboard shows overall statistics, including security data such as unauthorized access attempts, and service figures, including average service failure rate and average registered-service latency. You can drill down into the graphs for any service to see statistics about individual operations. You can also individually define and monitor service levels.
Policy is king
Most organizations try to ensure that externally facing Web services are secure. To that end, CoreSV consistently applies a set of policies to each Web service it proxies. In CoreSV, policies are enforced at either the gateway or the agent and are managed using the policy manager built into the management console.