Combining forces, Software AG and Fujitsu Ltd. have announced a jointly developed SOA repository, the cornerstone of a partnership that includes cross-licensing and reselling of products, and the joint marketing and management of the new CentraSite repository. The companies also announced three products embedded with CentraSite: Fujitsu's Interstage Business Process Manager and Software AG's Enterprise Information Integrator and Enterprise Service Integrator, an enterprise service bus.
The CentraSite repository, which includes a UDDI v2.1 registry, manages SOA meta data assets and enables reuse of Web services components. It also provides reporting on those meta data assets. Version 1 is bundled with the three enabled products. Version 2, expected Q1 2006, will be available standalone as well, and will include a UDDI v3 compliant registry and an extensible data model.
J.T. Taylor, senior director of product marketing at Darmstadt, Germany-based Software AG, said the companies would like to support the Java API for XML Registries (JAXR) in the future as well.
The partnership builds on an agreement established last December for Software AG to resell Fujitsu's Interstage product.
"These two large companies decided to partner to deliver the next generation of SOA integration solutions," Taylor said. "The need we hear from customers moving along the SOA path is as services start to pop up around the organization, you need to bring discipline to the picture. Having preintegrated best-of-breed products with CentraSite, we think will bring a differential."
Teaming up "makes sense," said Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink LLC, Waltham, Mass. It puts the joint offering squarely in the competitive SOA platform landscape with the likes of IBM and BEA Systems Inc. and others, he said, and the CentraSite repository/registry goes up against offerings from LogicLibrary, Systinet Corp. and Infravio.
"Software AG is a sizeable company, but it's still under the radar," Schmelzer said. However, the company has "done a lot of work around data and enterprise information integration; the breadth of their product line is pretty wide."
Fujitsu, he said, "built this business process model tooling, but found when it was doing process flow, it needed a place to store the processes as they were happening." Schmelzer also noted that for Fujitsu, "software is a small part of what it does; it's more of a consulting company."
Despite flying under the radar, Schmelzer said Software AG, developer of the Tamino XML Server, has a credible SOA story. "Since 1999, they've been calling themselves the XML company," he said. "They've actually been relevant for SOA for a long time. They had some of the first service interfaces to their products, and some of the first messaging/ESB-type functionality."
With a customer base that uses a lot of legacy products, Schmelzer said Software AG's "SOA story has a center of gravity closer to legacy transformation and heterogeneous data sources; their story is a lot more data focused. Some other companies with an SOA story don't have the real information integration part of it. If you care about data, you will start to think more about Software AG."
Going forward, Taylor said the two companies will "focus more on the services level, versus becoming a developer of repositories. The area of differentiation is at the service layer, and support for meta data that describes a service, and to extend that meta data to add billing or chargeback information, for example, and to provide a governance process for moving a service from development to production. These are areas we intend to focus on."
For architects and developers who are not familiar with Software AG, the company "will still have to make a compelling case," Schmeltzer said. Software AG has a stronger presence in Asia and Europe than in the United States, he said, but "I do think they do have a case. In fact they're a lot stronger on the data semantics side [than other SOA offerings]. At the very least, Software AG should be part of an evaluation."