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Software AG Launches New webMethods Suite for SOA, BPM

Software AG has launched webMethods 7.1, an upgrade to its ESB, BPM and BAM (business activity monitoring)
product suite. Although it looks like a point release, the vendor says
that it has been in the works for nearly two years, adding a range of
new capabilities in collaboration and interoperability. But the long
development time also means that there is still almost no integration
with Software AG's other products, as its $546 million acquisition of
webMethods was only completed in June.

The new release is divided into three main products. For SOA users, the
most important is webMethods ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), which
improves support for Web services standards such as BPEL (Business
Process Execution Language) and for large clusters of servers. However,
standards support doesn't mean that Software AG is abandoning Flow,
webMethods' proprietary orchestration language. This has been upgraded
to further simplify graphical representation of Java processes.

The other two products are webMethods BPMS (business process management server) and webMethods Optimize for B2B, a new BAM product aimed at inter-enterprise Web services. Optimize for B2B acts as a gateway through which XML, EDI or other files are routed as they cross from one company's SOA to another's, employing Bayesian techniques to learn business rules and attempt to predict events.

The ESB's new features make it a strong competitor for greenfield installations, and should also reassure existing webMethods users that a change in ownership won't affect support for their products. However, previous customers of Software AG's CrossVision ESB may justifiably feel neglected. They will likely be looking to competitors or waiting for Software AG to release its next version, which is slated for Q2 next year and will include more migration features.

Next month, Software AG will release CentraSite Governance Edition, a rebranded version of the Infravio registry. The company positions this as competing with Systinet, whereas the current CentraSite product (the Enterprise Edition) competes with IBM. The two CentraSite products also seem to compete with each other, as they each offer different capabilities, though Software AG denies this and says that it will provide more details of its integration roadmap in October.


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