In its first refresh of the webMethods Infravio X-Registry since the acquisition, Software AG has added new features to simplify lifecycle management of web services, and has begun seeding features from its CentraSite Enterprise repository.
The new product, branded CentraSite Governance Edition, adds wizards for helping users create new service assets, and for developing what Software AG calls 'active policies'. In essence, it prompts the user through a series of steps necessary for these tasks.
For instance, when creating a new web service, it include prompts for checking that the web service conforms with WS-I interoperability guidelines, complies with the organisation's naming standards, has been successfully tested and is therefore ready for production.
In conjunction with the new wizard-driven processes is a new Ajax-based rich web user interface that will also be compatible with the companion CentraSite Enterprise product.
Active policies, which came from the original X-Registry product, provide a way of not only flagging out of threshold alerts, but in specified cases, either remediating the problem or stopping execution of the service in midstream.
Other enhancements in the Governance Edition include support of non-web service assets such as workflows that are associated with different stages of the service lifecycle, from creation to testing, deployment, modification, repurposing, and retirement. That could include XML schema, service contracts, and BPERL models. The registry/repository will also support other services with non-Oasis compliant web service formats such as CORBA components.
And there is provision for role-based views into the registry/repository.
For instance, while an administrator might see all of the assets related to a service, service providers might see technical details and design documents pertaining only to their services, and service consumers might find service definitions and contact information for support.
CentraSite Governance Edition is also adding support of federation, where you can synchronise governance processes across other SOA repositories, and in turn federate enforcement with tools from Actional, or appliances from Layer 7 or IBM/DataPower.
Software AG is moving very deliberately to execute on the roadmap for converging products from the acquired webMethods. With announcements right paced at about every four weeks, this is the second such announcement to come out of Software AG since it unveiled the roadmap back in August.
The company is also being upfront, in that while it is making the products look cosmetically the same at the UI level and in branding, it admits that the real convergence will happen next year. At this point, both have, or will have, common Ajax-based rich user interfaces. Both also rely on the JAR (Java API for XML Registries), so access is also via a common method.
What is interesting is that Software AG's side-by-side SOA registry/repository products are not as overlapping as you might think. The webMethods Infravio product, now called Governance Edition, tends to focus more on how web services are consumed. Meanwhile, the Software AG offering, CentraSite Enterprise Edition, tends to be stronger in metadata management for design time.
Consequently, as both products converge, they are still likely to retain their different use case scenarios, which map to different stages of service lifecycle. That makes sense, as few organisations are likely to implement a single galactic services registry/repository anyway.
Typical scenarios might have different operating units running their own registries/repositories, which could be federated for enterprise consistency. Or they could follow the Software AG use case, with different repositories for different stages of the lifecycle. In this use case, each might maintain different supersets of metadata relevant to its role in life.