CA unveils Web services management plan

LAS VEGAS – Computer Associates International Inc. (CA) introduced five new offerings in a bid to tackle Web services management at its recent customer conference here.

The products, which fall under Islandia, N.Y.-based CA’s Unicenter and eTrust brands, will cover the performance, reliability and security management aspects of enterprise and customer-facing Web services, said the firm.

During a press briefing at this year’s CA World, Don LeClair, who works for CA’s office of the CTO, said the new offerings will focus on managing Web services from a business-process level. “Web services are typically very close to the business process,” said LeClair. CA hopes to “provide visibility and accountability to that level,” as well as “increase enterprise responsiveness,” he added.

Nick Gall, senior vice-president and principal analyst with research firm Meta Group Inc. in Stamford, Conn., talked about what the industry needs in order for Web services to continue moving forward. “Web services are reaching ubiquity,” Gall said, because they are a “simple yet effective means of integrating existing applications.”

Ideally, the focus of Web services should be on interoperability and the flexibility to work with a customer’s existing infrastructure, without the need to “rip and replace” with totally different products, Gall said. “We must span and encapsulate existing complexity.”

Web services extensibility is also essential in order to ensure future innovation. Federation, or the ability of Web services to “work across technological, management, security and business boundaries,” is also key, Gall noted.

At this time, he added, Web services mostly address business architecture needs, but what is needed is a more overarching approach where management and security-related architecture is also top of mind.

Dmitri Tcherevik, vice-president and director of Web services for CA’s office of the CTO, said that in the security space, management products “have traditionally been focused on transport security,” or protection of data during transmission. But by just focusing on transport, customers “cannot delivery end-to-end security,” he said, adding that the management of encryption, delivery and sign-in protection is also crucial.

The release of eTrust Directory 4.1, according to CA, provides an enterprise-ready UDDI implementation suitable for large-scale deployment and support of Web services, and the ability to replicate and distribute more than 100 million individual entries of Web services data.

In addition, CA released Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM), a solution for monitoring Web services across the enterprise. WSDM, according to Tcherevik, offers an automatic discovery function and the ability to monitor Web services so IT organizations can track performance indicators and respond to service interruptions.

Also on the release list are new versions (3.5) of Unicenter Management for WebSphere and WebLogic, which will monitor Web services deployed within the context of the J2EE application server, and facilitate the automatic discovery of both deployed Web services and their interfaces. Finally, the Unicenter Management for .Net framework 3.0 will provide monitoring of Web services deployed within the .Net framework context.