Enterprise Software Aids XML, Web Services and SOA Governance

Web services are supposed to work together to make life easier. Yet they only work well together if they're designed properly. WebLayers in Cambridge, Mass., has introduced an enterprise software tool to aid in effective governance of XML, Web services and SOA to ensure interoperability.

WebLayers Center 2.0 is actually the first release of the product and helps to certify that users are developing their schemas or Web services the right way, notes Anne Thomas Manes, VP and research director, application platform strategies, at Boston-based Burton Group.

Unlike other governance tools on the market, WebLayers Center focuses on the design and development process, Thomas Manes continues. Other governance tools, she adds, are focused later down the line. "I've looked, and I cannot find anything else out in the industry that does this," she says.

WebLayers Center includes governance policies--auditing and conformance capabilities through a set of checkpoints that plug into the process of design, development, deployment and operation--and active enforcement, a management interface that provides the ability to visualize and direct enterprise SOA development and conformance efforts.

The governance policies inherent in the product are basically a library of policies from which users can pick and choose the ones they want to implement, Thomas Manes points out. "There is no predefined set of best practices for how to go about defining schemas," she acknowledges. Yet, she adds, every organization should have its own rules as to how they build schemas. WebLayers' governance policies make that easier.

Additionally, the product features advanced governance capabilities through active dashboards, which company officials say provide up-to-date compliance information and impact analysis reports that enable enterprises to direct and enhance the design and rollout of their SOA.

"Burton Group predicts that businesses will waste billions of dollars over the next three to five years in failed efforts to adopt SOA because they won't institute the necessary governance processes to ensure that things are developed with some sense of purpose and discipline," Thomas Manes asserts. "This tool is the only tool out there that actually helps people build things the right way," she adds.

In addition to proper governance, Thomas Manes believes organizations will benefit from WebLayers Center in building much better systems and in significant savings of time and money. "If you go and create bad code and then deploy this, it's so much more expensive to fix it at that point," she explains, adding, "if you catch it at all."

The product is being released in two configurations. The enterprise edition supports unlimited users, services, policies and checkpoints, as well as enterprise integration. The workgroup edition includes a workgroup server designed for multi-user collaboration over policy development, compliance and management. Contact WebLayers for pricing info at

About the Author

Lana Gates is a freelance writer based in Mesa, Arizona. She can be reached via e-mail at [email protected]