StrikeIron Recognized as a Web Services Thought Leader
“StrikeIron is changing the way companies use Web services by making them more accessible to a wider audience,” said Jason Bloomberg, Senior Analyst at ZapThink LLC. “We’re very excited about the StrikeIron Web Services Analyzer, as well as StrikeIron’s upcoming new products and services that will advance the utilization of Web services and the construction of Service-Oriented Architectures.” Read more at: BusinessWire…

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Resurrecting the VAN: The Web Services Network
Both software vendors and enterprise end-users have always looked to make business-to-business interactions automated, reliable, and secure. While many companies currently seek a set of products and specifications that improve B2B interactions, many large firms will tell you that they’ve been accomplishing the goals of reliable, secure, guaranteed interaction between companies for decades, in the form of Electronic Data Interchange (EDI). However, it’s not EDI’s technology (which today is both arcane and obsolete), but rather its infrastructure that’s given it such longevity. We’re talking about the Value-Added Network (VAN) here — a set of capabilities offered by third-party network providers to guarantee the required level of interaction between any two participants on the network. A Third-Party “Network” for Web Services In the 1980s, companies found that their primary challenge in trying to automate their business connections was managing point-to-point electronic relationships with dozens or even hundreds of suppliers.

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2004: A Leap Year for Service-Oriented Architectures
The standards are maturing, the products are on the market, and the architects have figured out what Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) are all about. Now that it’s 2004, it’s time for the rubber to hit the road. ZapThink has even seen several significant, albeit frequently tentative, implementations of SOAs that have already realized return for the companies that implemented them. Even more companies have architecture teams actively planning out their SOAs. Yet, while 2003 showed tentative steps in SOA adoption by end-users, 2004 will prove to be the break-out year for the technology. For end-users, this means a certain set of action items to make SOA a reality. For vendors, this means that 2004 will be a do-or-die year for their products. Beyond the pilot project and on to the incremental project One of the steps companies took in 2003 towards SOAs was to implement focused Web Services and/or…

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Service Orientation Market Trends
Key Points: ZapThink sees a consolidation of most SO functionality into a single market category that can be delivered as individual products, product suites, or service offerings that contain broad functionality, including features that are currently associated with the security, management, process, integration, and tools segments. We call that market the SOA Implementation Framework market. The total SOA Implementation Framework market opportunity will go from $4.4 billion in 2005 to $43 billion by 2010. The big winners from the shift to Service Orientation will be large vendors who are able to leverage the innovation of the smaller players to build fully functional SOA Implementation Frameworks. New entrants will find opportunity in adding value to these large vendors’ products, or by finding opportunity in the gaps between their solutions.   Table of Contents: I. Report Scope II. Context: The Shift to Service Orientation 2.1. The shift to Service Orientation affects all…

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Is the Window of Opportunity Closing for Service Orientation Vendors?
Speaking of the ever-changing nature of reality, the ancient Greek philosopher Heraclitus famously said, “you can never step into the same river twice.” He could very well have been talking about the Web Services (WS) and Service Orientation (SO) market. At this point in time, this market is exceptionally dynamic, as several technology and business forces buffet the players. ZapThink’s new report, Service Orientation Market Trends, analyzes these forces, and lays out some bold predictions for the IT industry for the years to come. This ZapFlash is an excerpt of that report. Web Services, of course, are standards-based interfaces to software functionality. Service Orientation is an approach to distributed computing where software functionality is available as discoverable Services on the network. It’s important to realize that Web Services by themselves do not form a product category in their own right, because they are interfaces to something else, rather…

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ZapNote: Infravio, Inc.
Infravio Ensemble is a Web Services management suite that offers full lifecycle management, configuration management, security management, monitoring, and alerting, built upon a metadata-driven architecture that offers APIs for security, transformation, transactions, orchestration, and event management — the complete set of functionality that Web Services management solutions should have. However, what differentiates Infravio’s Ensemble solution from most other Web Services management offerings is their focus on managing Web Services Delivery Contracts, which allow Web Service designers to create generic Web Services and then define delivery, routing, SLA, and monitoring parameters that are specific to the consuming application. Infravio Ensemble’s ability to manage Web Service consumers as well as producers is a competitive differentiator for Infravio that supports the key SOA requirement of loose coupling across the Web Services lifecycle. [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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Retiring the Four-Platform Framework for Web Services
As an analyst firm, ZapThink sees many presentations from vendors and end users, and as a result we have seen a recurring vision for Web Services that has outlived its questionable usefulness at representing how the market is implementing and producing products for real-world Web Services and SOA solutions — namely Gartner’s Four-Platform Framework of Web Services. While the framework has helped many companies get started with their understanding of Web Services, we believe it’s time to move on. Fundamentally, the way in which the Four-Platform Framework is represented by vendors and end-users is inaccurate, incomplete, and in the final analysis, no longer helpful for either end-users or vendors as they struggle to grasp Web Services or Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs). In its place, ZapThink offers the SOA Implementation Framework, which we feel more accurately reflects the challenges companies face as they seek to implement SOAs, and the products vendors must…

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The Complete Vision of Service-Oriented Enterprise Management
Companies have long been striving to meet two critical goals in their enterprise: how to make their existing systems work better together, and how to gain critical visibility into how their various processes and systems are contributing to overall business goals. Into this arena, Service-Oriented Architectures and Web Services are introducing the concept of standards-based, loosely-coupled integration to help solve the first problem of managing intractable business integration problems. At the same time, these approaches lend themselves particularly well to providing greater visibility into business processes and system performance. Traditionally, the areas of systems management, business management, and management of application interfaces have been separate technologies and problem domains. However, SOAs allow companies to pursue a unified approach towards managing their businesses and their systems in a more holistic fashion. As such, this paper explores how companies can take a broader view of Web Services and system management…

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Case Study ZapNote: The Hartford
The insurance industry is leading the economy in the adoption of Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs), and The Hartford is an early adopter of these technologies among insurance companies. When it became necessary to update an agent tool that required integration to a heterogeneous collection of back-end systems, taking an SOA approach was a natural fit for them. The Hartford realized early in this project that they needed to acquire a Web Services management (WSM) solution, so they established formal selection criteria, invited several vendors to participate, and narrowed the selection down to two vendors. They then put those two vendors through an exhaustive, three-week proof-of-concept in order to determine which vendor would meet their needs. This case study details The Hartford’s selection process, and the criteria they used to make the selection. As an early adopter, The Hartford’s approach can serve as a useful lesson…

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