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Transactions are the currency for SOA management

AmberPoint has been busy, announcing support this week for Microsoft BizTalk Server 2009, and, earlier in the month, announcing integration with IBM WebSphere DataPower. We talked with the company recently.

If look at the recent deals, you see that AmberPoint SOA management software can manage transactions flowing across distributed environments that may include BizTalk Server as well as environments including DataPower appliances. That is quite a range.

As has been said elsewhere, ‘tracking the transactions’ is the name of the game in performance management these days. In SOA and composite applications, with many moving parts, it is a daunting game.

“You have to track each transaction individually. They don’t live in one spot,” said Ed Horst, Vice President of Product Strategy, AmberPoint.

With transactions, Horst reminds us, “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts.”

“Each individual piece may be performing per its requirements, but the overall transaction is not.” This is something that classic styles of performance tracking can miss. As Horst says: “All the ‘lights are green,’ but the transaction is not completing properly.”

Ops and developers know the business side of the house has short patience when the discussion is cycles and CPU utilization. They probably have more interest in the notion of transactions, at least if they are transactions that involve money. Rhetorically: Which poor performance events get the most attention?

Horst puts it this way: “Proper completion of the overall transaction is what leads to revenue for companies. It is where the money is. It is also where the fire drills are.”

Amid other AmberPoint activity this month, the company released a new version of its Business Transaction Management software, one that introduces Active Transaction Recording and a Transaction Search Engine.

The Transaction Search Engine takes its cue from one of the great technology success of recent years; that is: Search Technology.  We are used to looking and screens showing ‘red-lit’ problem areas, and then sorting through reams of logs to find aberrant behavior. The Transaction Search Engine provides a console that quickly locates specific transactions based on technical or business data – this could include account numbers or part numbers related to the transactions under question.

“The Transaction Search Engine allows you to use anything you know to search against the transaction history we have recorded,” said Horst.

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