Web services 'shock absorber' unveiled

In an attempt to insulate developers and systems administrators from ongoing changes to standards for XML and Web services, Flamenco Networks Inc. is including a so-called "shock absorber" in its latest management software release.

WS Standards Shock Absorber is designed to help deal with the common complaint of Web service developers who find themselves needing to re-code applications to meet almost weekly changes in XML standards.

In announcing release 4.0 of its Web Services Management (WSM) software this week, Atlanta-based Flamenco ( said its shock absorber technology allows IT managers to "update proxies on the fly without losing SOAP messages or re-booting." The shock absorber is designed to keep Web services applications operating without constant recoding to meet new and revised standards, the company announcement said.

Flamenco said that the new version of WSM will be generally available in September but is already in use at British Telecom where it is used to manage Web services products BT is offering to large corporate customers.

BT selected Flamenco because of its ability to provide management for external Web services that make up the telecommunications company’s main product offerings of hosted services, according to an IDC white paper by Rob Hailstone.

Moving Web services management outside the firewall also attracted the attention of Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink (, a Waltham, Mass. firm specializing in XML technologies. He said that Flamenco’s focus on management beyond the corporate firewall was a key differentiator between WSM Version 4 and most other management products. The ability to manage Web services beyond the firewall makes it possible for companies to move beyond internal integration "to more sophisticated, strategic deployments of Web services-based Service-Oriented Architectures that solve critical cross-organization integration and business issues," according to Schmelzer.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.


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