Building on its SOA emphasis, IBM unveiled on Monday a slew of WebSphere software and professional services intended to overcome "barriers" to SOA success.
These barriers were listed by IBM as making determinations on doing an SOA, avoiding additional costs and ensuring that investments are allocated toward a business strategy that will withstand market fluctuations and company changes.
IBM's SOA strategy focuses on process integration. "We believe that we're in a world now that is much more process-led, not technology-led," said Steve Mills, IBM senior vice president and software group executive. Counting more than 1,000 customer engagements in SOA, IBM is the market leader in SOA, Mills said.
"IBM has a very broad software and services portfolio that few companies can match up with," said analyst Dennis Gaughan of AMR Research. "Other software vendors map to similar product footprints, other services firms are also focused on SOA. IBM is bringing both together under one strategy."
The SOA rollout involves 11 new products, 20 product enhancements and eight service enhancements. Products will be available in various timeframes ranging from now and the next six months.
Chief among the products being introduced include:
IBM's acquisition of portal software Bowstreet is leveraged in the new product.
* WebSphere Business Monitor Version 6.0, helping to proactively identify potential issues before they could impact productivity. New in this version are business alerts, links to third-party reports on performance and historical analysis and scorecards to track projects.
* WebSphere Application Server Version 6.1, featuring SIP (session initiation protocol) servlets to reduce the complexity of an SOA as it grows, and instant messaging. Security also has been improved to include default configurations and a default user registry for identity management. The product also adheres to the government's Common Criteria Assurance Level 4 Certification for authentication and data protection. A tool called IBM Installation Factory is featured to streamline installation.
* WebSphere Commerce Version 6.0, providing a consistent view of a customer across sales channels and featuring tools to allow merchants to replicate the online experience in their store for more personalized service. Transaction development and management also is featured.
Both the application server and commerce package focus on reuse and easier SOA management, IBM said. Other new products being introduced include new releases of the WebSphere ESB and WebSphere Message Broker, to boost service connectivity. The IBM WebSphere Service Registry and Repository, meanwhile, is being featured for managing metadata around services.
Gaughan was not completely sold on IBM's emphasis on WebSphere for SOA.