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Sixth-gen infrastructure gives SOA street cred

Systinet's latest runtime offerings and Eclipse development tool ramp up performance, scalability and standards support.

When you hit the sixth generation of a product, you know you're no longer in "bleeding edge" territory. So the rollout this week of version 6.0 of Systinet Corp.'s server family for creating Java and C++ Web services marks the increased maturity of SOA from a vendor that one analyst dubs the "old man" of Web services. Systinet Server for Java 6.0 and Systinet Server for C++ 6.0 focus on improved interoperability, scalability and performance during runtime. As part of the announcement, the company also released Systinet Developer for Eclipse 6.0.

Version 6.0 of Systinet's server family "is more scalable, with more standards support, but they always were scalable and supported standards," said Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst with ZapThink LLC, Waltham, Mass. "The key story is Systinet is the old man of Web services. They're been around since the early days; it truly is enterprise class. It's a sign that Web services infrastructure is no longer bleeding edge."

Even for ISVs [independent software vendors] that are embedding our platforms in their products, performance, if not the top issue, is always second.
David Butler
Vice President of MarketingSystinet

The "old man" of Web services continues to grow its presence in the SOA space, inking some strategic deals around its registry product this year, most recently with Oracle Corp. and earlier with BEA Systems. David Butler, vice president of marketing at Systinet, said the Burlington, Mass.-based company is on track to release components of its upcoming Blizzard platform by year-end, which will build on the Systinet registry with contract management, impact management and lifecycle management capabilities.

Systinet Server for Java 6.0 includes support for limiting the number of concurrent Java Message Service threads to improve robustness; support for WS-ReliableMessaging in clusters; support for the latest WS-Interoperability Basic Profile 1.1 and WS-I attachments; UDDI registry support, including v3; failsafe support; and platform support for JBoss 4, Sun JDK 1.5 on Windows, Sun and Solaris.

Systinet Server for C++ 6.0 also offers WS-I Basic Profile 1.1 compliance and UDDI v3 support, along with support for dynamic service invocation and simple installation for all Windows users.

"We'll continue to push on performance as an issue in runtime," Butler said. "Even for ISVs [independent software vendors] that are embedding our platforms in their products, performance, if not the top issue, is always second."

The servers "will allow service-oriented architectures to work in an enterprise way, and will ensure interoperability for customers with both .NET and Java runtime environments," Butler said. Organizations are "held back when interoperability doesn't work at the runtime level. For some customers, they have a specific project dedicated to one environment or the other, but when they move to an interoperable environment, we're the only game in town for that. Microsoft is .NET-centric; the Java guys are Java-centric. Systinet plugs the gap for interoperating with Web services standards across both environments."

Interoperability "is not quite as incredible a feat" anymore, as other offerings have improved in that regard over the last year, said Anne Thomas Manes, a vice president at Burton Group, Midvale, Utah. But she said implementing a Systinet server can be a less expensive alternative to upgrading an application server. "If you're using an older version of any J2EE [Java 2 Platform Enterprise Edition] application server, like WebLogic 7 or earlier, WebSphere 5, Oracle 9, or any other, you have a real problem," she said. "Those systems don't support the WS-I Basic Profile; they don't interoperate with .NET. If you want to enable the latest and greatest, you have to upgrade to the latest release of the application server."

Another reason to use a Systinet server, Manes said, is "if you have multiple application servers in an organization, you may prefer to use a single platform for implementing Web services."

For more information

Oracle-Systinet deal a win-win

Find out about Systinet's addition of a policy manager to its UDDI registry

Continued supported Eclipse is also important to Systinet, Butler said. New features of Systinet Developer for Eclipse 6.0 include: support for Systinet Server for Java 6.0; support for all versions of the Eclipse IDE; support for WS-I Basic Profile 1.0 and 1.1 testing; and support for UDDI v3.

"Using Systinet Developer for Eclipse, developers can create Web services from within the familiar environment of the Eclipse IDE, then test, debug and deploy them," Butler said. "By using Systinet Developer for Eclipse, publishing services to any UDDI-compliant registry is a simple, menu-driven process. This encourages developers to advertise services and promotes service reuse in an SOA. It also helps ensure consistency and quality of shared services."

All products are available for download now. Systinet Server for Java and Systinet Server for C++ are available free for development and test; pricing for enterprise deployment starts at $5,000 per CPU. Systinet Developer is free for commercial use.

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