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Service-oriented management boosts Web services

The emergence of Service-oriented Management software will lead the rapid growth of Web services management products, which will reach $9.2 billion in the next five years, predicts ZapThink LLC., a Waltham, Mass.-based consulting firm.

Small vendors are rushing to build such products in advance of major suppliers, which are expected to dominate Web services management by 2005, according to a ZapThink report released this week.

''There are quite a number of new vendors in this space,'' said Jason Bloomberg, senior analyst at ZapThink, an XML and Web services-focused industry analyst group. ''If anything, there are too many. It's clearly a window of opportunity for some of these newer players to become established and gain some traction, because the larger players also have Web services management on their product road maps. We talked to BMC, IBM/Tivoli, HP/OpenView and Computer Associates, and they all have Web services management on their road maps, basically over the next 18 to 24 months. So we definitely see that as being the window of opportunity for some of the smaller players to become established.''

Bloomberg believes that most of the smaller vendors and start-ups that survive in the emerging Web services management market will end up partnering or being acquired by the big players.

He added that two-thirds of the vendors ZapThink researched are focused on Service-oriented Management with products that not only manage Web services but also enable development of Service-oriented Architectures.

As an example of smaller vendors with a strong focus on Service-oriented Management, Bloomberg pointed to Infravio Inc., Redwood City, Calif. (http://www.Infravio.com) and its Web Services Management System (WSMS).

''Infravio's focus is on life-cycle management, which means provisioning and rolling out Web services, handling different versions of Web services in production and Service-oriented Architecture enablement,'' the analyst said. ''That last category we see as being the key set of functionality that these companies can offer. Service-oriented Architecture basically means taking fine-grain atomic Web services -- like those you get when you wrap legacy data sources with SOAP wrappers -- and providing a level of abstraction on top of them to offer coarse-grained business Web services, and doing that in an enterprise class manner. It means offering the location independence, scalability, redundancy and all the management infrastructure you need to offer these coarse-grained, loosely coupled Web services, so that the enterprise both internal and among its business partners can actually use them for mission-critical tasks.''

Additional information on the ZapThink report entitled ''Service-Oriented Management: How Web Services are the Key to the Service-Oriented Architecture'' is available at http://ZapThink.com.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.

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