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Time to manage those Web services

Question for Web services champions: Once the world is overrun with the technology, who's going to keep track of Web services to let them be used efficiently?

Most of the high-tech giants -- IBM, Microsoft, Sun and the like -- and many, many smaller firms are focusing attention on Web services as the "next big thing." Officials from these firms maintain the new technology is invading IT and represents the future of application development, integration and deployment.

Web services will finally fulfill the promise of reuse, standards and other hard-to-reach high-tech ambitions, say many industry experts. If all these folks are right, a huge influx of Web services is poised to invade corporate IT operations. And unless some procedures are put in place, there is significant potential for disarray, say experts.

With that in mind, Infravio Inc. last fall brought out an XML-based platform for managing Web services, solving a problem it quickly found has yet to hit center stage. Officials at the firm, led by former Napster CEO Eileen Richardson, looked to get a jump on potential competitors ranging from IBM and Computer Associates, to an expected slew of start-ups.

Officials at the Santa Clara, Calif., start-up concede they have found potential customers are still looking mostly at building and buying Web services and have yet to be too concerned about managing them. "We're finding that in most industries, companies are not yet thinking about management issues, but are just getting started in [building and buying] Web services," said Richard Peterson, vice president of product marketing.

Thus, the company last week brought out an expanded version of the management platform that adds tools for building Web services and an application platform based on the Apache technology for deployment. The new system allows companies to build Web services and immediately manage them and others already in use. The new system is priced at $45,000, and will begin shipping by the end of this month, Peterson said.

About the Author

Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.

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