Software AG: integration of its webMethods acquisition into its portfolio

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Content Copyright © 2007 Bloor. All Rights Reserved.

On July 25th 2007, Software AG unveiled the way it would integrate the webMethods product suite into its product portfolio to create an integrated product portfolio for business integration, service-oriented architecture (SOA), business process management (BPM) and legacy modernization. The webMethods product suite maintains and extends current investments in Software AG’s Crossvision and webMethods technologies.

Existing Crossvison customers will benefit from:

  • richer support for business integration and B2B
  • a more deeply integrated business process management suite (BPMS)
  • business activity monitoring (BAM) capabilities
  • additional resources for composite application development.

webMethods users will enjoy:

  • access to a full suite of legacy modernization products
  • additional support for application development
  • an expanded ESB offering.

Both sets of customers will also benefit from the accelerated development of a best-in-class foundation for SOA lifecycle governance. The latter builds upon Software AG’s continuing commitment to jointly develop the CentraSite platform with Fujitsu.

Software AG also announced that it expects to ship the next release of the webMethods products—version 7.1—later this summer as scheduled. This forthcoming release builds upon earlier themes of accelerating application delivery, fostering re-use as a cost and time-saving alternative to development, and enabling faster, smarter business decisions as a means for achieving sustainable process improvements. This release is also distinguished by its focus on expanding the extensibility of SOA as well as by the enhancements its delivers for the product suite’s enterprise service bus (ESB) offering.

Specific features of the webMethods product suite include:

  • SOA governance: Software AG will bring together CentraSite and the webMethods Infravio X-Registry to create a platform for addressing the SOA governance lifecycle. As a result, CentraSite’s extensible metadata management and modeling capabilities will be enriched by the addition of the policy management and enforcement functionality offered by Infravio. In addition to establishing uniform governance of IT assets, the unified offering also simplifies asset maintenance by automatically defining semantic relationships and dependencies between assets. Software AG will also be merging the CentraSite and SOA Link communities to create an even more powerful SOA governance community.
  • ESB & B2B: The webMethods ESB builds upon webMethods’ enterprise-class Integration Server to deliver proven performance, scalability, security and support for key industry standards. Customers will now benefit from three complementary and interchangeable choices for integration and interoperability within a single product architecture. More specifically, the webMethods ESB will be offered in Mediation, Orchestration and Integration editions for progressively more demanding requirements. These products encompass and replace the webMethods Infravio X-Broker, the Crossvision Service Orchestrator and the webMethods Integration Server products respectively. Furthermore, Software AG will also be introducing enhancements to the webMethods B2B offering, such as trading partner self-service and business analytics spanning partner transactions, in the forthcoming release.
  • BPM and BAM: The webMethods BPMS is the company’s primary business process management offering going forward. The business process management suite includes process and application design and execution, human workflow, rules, simulation and out-of-the-box process analytics. Leveraging their strong partnership, Software AG will also continue to fully support the Fujitsu Interstate offering for a minimum of five years. The webMethods product suite is also differentiated by the availability of application composition capabilities that allow end-users to create AJAX-based, Web 2.0 style rich internet applications and user interfaces. Software AG also plans to extend webMethods’ patented business activity monitoring capabilities with new editions targeting additional business requirements.
  • Legacy modernization: Software AG will continue to offer three holistic approaches for mainframe integration:
    • EntireX for transaction-oriented integration
    • ApplinX for screen-based integration
    • CONNX Solutions’ data access products for data-focused integration.

EntireX will be enhanced through the inclusion of webMethods’ patented mainframe integration technology. This means that current users of webMethods Mainframe will be able to migrate their existing functionality to the EntireX platform. Software AG will also continue to fully support webMethods’ DataDirect NEON Shadow customers.

Other available components of the product suite include Information Integrator for creating customized views of information from existing business data and Master Data Manager for unifying and consolidating master data throughout the enterprise.

Forthcoming releases are designed to remain backwards compatible with previous products. Enhanced products with standards-based interoperability will begin shipping this quarter will full availability of the upgraded product suite expected to commence in early 2008.

This was a long awaited announcement. Industry watchers were very interested to see how Software AG would incorporate the Webmethods product set. My view is that they have come up with a good way forward, but all will depend on how the current customers of the two merged organisations take to these announcements.