CA fills gaps of Web services management

Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) plans to extend the integration infrastructure it has built to unify its major applications by adding support for Web services technologies.

CA’s first foray into Web services management will be focused “heavily on enterprise management, security, and storage,” said Tarkan Maner, vice-president, corporate marketing for Islandia, N.Y.-based CA.

“Our goal is not to be a Web services leader,” Maner said. “On the contrary, we’re trying to do the most with the least … We are playing a very conservative role.”

During a process in which CA is seeking to consolidate its many products under six major headings – systems management, storage, security, application development life cycle, data management, and portals – the company developed a thin layer of integration software, dubbed “Common Services.” The integration layer includes Java development and runtime support from CA’s Java tool environment known as Cool Joe, its Jasmine object database and integration server.

“Common Services has both runtime and build-time tools built into it … There are some assets from Cool Joe in the build-time environment,” Maner said. “The build-time tools have some open APIs and Java-based development tools.”

The small amount of Cool Joe code in Common Services is there “for the Java development environment,” Maner said. “The reason we do that is so that third-party developers and other vendors can utilize some of these assets to tie their current investment into CA products,” he said.

Common Services will not be spread across “all 1,244 products,” Maner said of CA’s broad and complex offerings. “There are some key, 20 or so products” that will be Common Services-enabled, he said.

The full Cool Joe offering will be sold separately.

At present, CA’s applications are compatible with the J2EE (Java 2, Enterprise Edition) specification, but a March rollout of .Net support, starting with VisualStudio .Net, will help CA provide a full set of enterprise management tools that span both environments, said company officials.

“There are some (Microsoft .Net offerings) in the plan,” Maner said. “Data dictionaries are being shared with us as they become available.”

The .Net support underscores CA’s strategy to fill the management gaps left by Microsoft Corp., with which CA has a long-standing partnership, analysts said.

Another crucial element of the CA’s plan is CleverPath, a portal offering bundled with major CA applications that provides a common front end to tap into CA applications. In addition, CleverPath will be upgraded this spring to support Web services, leading to a single console to manage Web services deployment.

Later this year or in early 2003, CA will debut “a Web services brokering” product, to be used by CA applications to integrate a wide variety of Web services, Maner said.

The broker will be composed of “assets from CleverPath, Advantage’s integration (code), (and) eTrust security assets,” Maner said. “The Advantage integration is from Jasmine … Some of the assets are the old Jasmine ii integration assets,” he said.

At the same time, the company’s AllFusion modeling and development life cycle group is focused on the deployment of J2EE and .Net services. It is reviewing ways to automate the propagation of Web services-compliant code, along with system configuration settings and applications, under a wide-ranging research effort known as Project Genesis. Those efforts will also leverage Unicenter.

Web services is giving CA a chance to fortify its desire to create a unified, distributed systems management infrastructure and put IBM and others on notice, said industry analysts. CA is making certain its management line will “be there when Web services happen,” said Anthony Picardi, analyst for International Data Corp. in Framingham, Mass. CA’s bundling approach will bode well for the success of its Web services management push because they are focused on specific problems, Picardi said.

CA is “well credentialed” and “very wise” to get into the Web services management game now, said Valerie O’Connell, an analyst at Boston-based Aberdeen Group Inc. “I think they’re as serious as a heart attack about this,” she said.

But CA officials and industry analysts said they do not expect the realm of Web services management to yield sizable revenues this year.

“We do not expect that there’s going to be huge revenues in Web services in 2002 and early 2003,” Maner said. “Our goal is to up-sell our eTrust, Brightstor, and Unicenter portfolio to those customers who are interested in Web services … Our revenues are going to be through those core competencies.”

Computer Associates Canada Co. in Toronto is at