ZapThink examines Ascential SOA

Ascential Software Corp., a Westboro, Mass.-based vendor of data integration products, has placed a big bet on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). And Bob Zurek, the firm's vice president of advanced technologies and product management, contends that the bet is already beginning to pay off.

Ascential's laser focus on SOA was singled out in a report issued late last month by ZapThink LLC (, a Waltham, Mass.-based consulting operation that concentrates on XML Web services technologies.

''Ascential Software is occupying a prominent place in the Service Orientation market, a market where its customers are clearly headed,'' wrote Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink. The report, Service Orientation Market Trends: Predicting the Future of XML & Web Services , envisions a growing market for SOA vendors and ranks Ascential as the 'incumbent vendor with Web services/service orientation capabilities throughout its product line.'

''The total SOA implementation framework market opportunity will go from $4.4 billion in 2005 to $43 billion by 2010,'' predicts Schmelzer. 'The Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite 7.0 and Ascential Real-Time Integration Services (RTI Services) are well positioned in that market, elegantly extending the reach of Ascential Software's powerful data profiling, data quality, data transformation, parallel processing, meta data and connectivity solutions to organizations' service-oriented architectures -- a critical need in today's enterprise for realizing the potential of Web services.''

Basking in the analyst's praise, Ascential's Zurek said he has been preaching SOA not only to Ascential's customers but also internally to the company's product developers. He expressed confidence that the Ascential development team now has ''the religion.''

''What we're doing internally is service orienting our entire architecture,'' he said, ''so that our architecture and the major components of our architecture like our transformation engine, connectivity framework, meta data services layer [and] quality services layer are all becoming Web services. So we're practicing what we preach. We're eating our own dog food, if you will. I can talk to our customers until I'm blue in the face about the value of Web services, but I also need to talk internally to our teams about the value of Web services. And I'll tell you they have the religion. They're doing it and they're modernizing our architecture as we move forward to make it very flexible. The best way we can have flexibility is to live and breathe and sleep the whole Web services paradigm that we think is going to be mainstream in a very short period of time.''

On a business-related topic, Zurek asserted that his company has also successfully integrated the people and technology of the former Mercator Software Inc. (aka TSI Software), Wilton, Conn., which Ascential acquired last August. He said the Mercator technology is now part of the Ascential product line with Ascential branding.

About the Author

Rich Seeley is Web Editor for Campus Technology.


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