WSOS tunes up services
Web Service Orchestration Server imposes reliability on the naturally unreliable realm of distributed Web services
WSOS lacks an integrated development environment, but this is just as well because your developers will be more productive using the tools with which they are already familiar. It does provide a well-appointed Developer Console that improves, among other things, the debugging process. Using the console, we were able to invoke and examine our ScenarioBeans in action, see the state of current transactions, drill down to active code, and view live XML. We found this an invaluable tool for speeding the debug process.
Several command-line utilities round out the development efforts, including a Bean packager, a WSDL Java skeleton generator, and an XML business document to Java class converter. Although the disconnection of these utilities from the graphical environment was cumbersome, WSOS does integratez7A with Apache's Ant make utility, which helped mediate the exercise.
BPM is not an easy road to travel, however, and the disparity between a business analyst's model and a technologist's understanding of it can incur costly errors and delays. So we were disappointed to find that WSOS does not integrate with modeling tools, such as Visio, and does not provide one of its own, such as that found with Iona's Orbix. On the plus side, WSOS makes including existing EJB (Enterprise JavaBeans) easy. Also, it exposes an API that makes it possible to build interfaces in customized development.
The Developer Console serves as the hub for monitoring vital statistics on running services in real time. We easily traversed the hierarchical view of current transactions, monitored activity and statistics on response time and exceptions, deployed services, and tackled reporting issues.
But for all its capabilities, its limited breadth also hinders its usefulness. Although Collaxa has imminent plans to release support for the open-source Jboss, provisions for any enterprise-class application servers, such as Oracle9i and IBM WebSphere, are not expected until year's end. Also, it uses the RPC (Remote Procedure Call) style of SOAP services, making it incompatible with Microsoft's document style layout. It has no integrated communication support for other XML-based BPM languages on the table, such as WSFL (Web Services Flow Language) or XLANG.
But as it matures, WSOS should prove a reliable framework for building Web services.