Speeding up SOAP
Apptimizer boosts Web-service performance with SOAP caching
COMPANIES GAUGING the ROI of adding Web services to their application-delivery mix must consider the oft-overlooked costs associated with increased network overhead and processing loads.
Although Web services may represent a boon for developers, their weighty text-based XML messages, which are many times larger than the payload they're responsible for carrying, demand opening, rewrapping, and pushing across highly distributed network paths. As SOAP requests and responses mount, processing and communications capabilities will quickly show their shortfall.
Aiming to reduce the friction in multitier application architectures, Chutney Technologies released its flagship product, Apptimizer HA (High Availability) 4.1 for SOAP, which caches and reuses high-volume calls to data and programmatic objects.
Not limited to Web services, Apptimizer delivers a solid caching mechanism that can be exploited anywhere along the application fulfillment path, from the front-end Web edge to back-end business logic and databases.
By interpreting incoming requests and serving responses from its own cache, Apptimizer implements a Green Peace line of defense that mitigates processing redundancies and eases bandwidth consumption through recycling. The process further improves system response times.
In this latest version, Chutney advances Apptimizer's handling of cache look-ups, ergo cache-hit success rates, and introduces a SOAP engine that enables developers to extended the benefits of Apptimizer to Web services transactions.
On the downside, Apptimizer demands modification of existing code, a potentially precarious endeavor for live site logic that might initially relegate the solution to new development. Also, it could benefit from more intuitive facilities for cluster management and improved SOAP administration and monitoring tools.
But we were highly impressed with its overall capabilities and found that it offered a simplified tagging process that greatly assuages fears associated with slicing and dicing code.
We are able to issue Apptimizer a final score of Deploy, due in part to its newly added support for more development environments along with its modest security measures.
Chutney has a history in the content delivery niche. When we first looked at Version 3 of this product last year, formerly called Preloader, it was purely caching content for dynamic HTML delivery(see " Your way, right away on the Web "). Although the product has grown up, we were pleased to see its benefits and usability remained part and parcel of this release.
Installation of the Apptimizer engine, the server-side caching repository, as well as SOAP and API libraries, went off without a hitch, requiring little interaction beyond basic IP configuration.
Apptimizer is interoperable with most enterprise application servers, including BEA WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, Microsoft IIS, and Sun ONE (Open Net Environment). Installation of a single engine supports multiple servers and clusters simultaneously -- a consideration of note when examining pricing.