In separate SOA-related announcements this week, BEA Systems is upgrading its repository while HP is adding to its roster of "SOA Competency Centers."
BEA is introducing a BEA-branded version of the former Flashline repository, gearing it to SOA environments.
BEA acquired Flashline in August. The BEA AquaLogic Enterprise Repository 2.5 is intended to assist customers with governance in SOA, specifically in dealing with managing IT assets in these architectures. Information is maintained about Web services types and definitions, service dependencies and ownership of services, said Paul Patrick, vice president and chief architect for AquaLogic at BEA.
New features include support for XPDL (XML Process Definition Language) and support for the BEA WebLogic Server 9.2 application server. XPDL is used for business process assets management.
"The real business value that [XPDL] brings is you can connect the business process management activities with SOA activities," said Charles Stack, BEA vice president of engineering. While SOA deals with Web services, WSDL, and schemas, business process management is concerned with business processes and workflows.
WebLogic Server 9.2 features zero-downtime capabilities, although this was first offered in the Version 9.0 release of the application server, according to BEA. BEA's repository also can run on the IBM WebSphere and Apache Tomcat platforms.
HP, meanwhile, is expanding its SOA Competency Center program, with the company planning to open facilities in Cupertino, Calif.; Singapore; and Bangalore, India. The Cupertino and Bangalore facilities open on Monday; the Singapore site opens next month. The company in 2005 opened its first SOA Competency Centers in Sophia Antipolis, France, and Tokyo.
HP bills the SOA Competency Centers as "comprehensive experience centers" enabling customers and partners to evaluate SOA technologies and implementations. HP capabilities in IT architecture, management, security and governance are showcased at the centers.
Customers at these facilities participate in executive briefings, discovery workshops, and demonstrations and learn about horizontal and vertical solutions for SOA, said Terri Schoenrock, executive director for SOA with HP Services Consulting and Integration. Partner technologies also are featured and proofs of concept are developed.
"For our customers, one of the key questions around SOA is, is it going to work for me in my environment?" Schoenrock said.
HP anticipates the three new facilities will host hundreds of visits per month. The centers are part of HP's $500 million investment in SOA, HP said.
To HP, SOA is "an architectural approach to business services that a customer uses to really achieve a business initiative," said Schoenrock. Concepts such as loose coupling, reusability, discoverability and service composition are considered critical.