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Vitria marries Web services and business process management

Vitria Technology has integrated Web services and business process management in the latest version of its Web services module for its BusinessWare platform.

The new version provides companies with a single environment for business integration of everything from legacy applications to new Web services and the ability to expose any component of the integration solution as a Web service, according to Vitria.

To date, Web services have only been used to access simple applications such as checking inventory levels or stock quotes, said Suresh Chandrasekaran, senior director of product management at Vitria. However, Vitria's solution will allow companies to make the most of Web services, Chandrasekaran added.

"It can actually take the business integration itself or any component of it, perhaps a process model or a transformation and expose that as a Web service," he said. "That's different from saying, 'I have a process model that can call a Web service.' [Companies] can really start to build a services-oriented application infrastructure. They can start combining traditional business process management using the messaging-oriented model and a services-oriented model."

Much of the potential promise of Web services lies in the notion of componentising business processes and tying them together with Web services into new applications. This would allow companies to adapt applications to new customers and products while allowing IT managers to modify applications' behaviour based on changes to business processes.

Version 2.0 is designed to allow an enterprise to take any current BusinessWare process or interface and define, compose, wrap, call, and register it as an internal or external Web service. That makes the process accessible to trading partners, regardless of what internal systems the partners use.

The platform also has built-in functionality to allow a Web service with multiple steps - such as applying for a loan application - to hold data that is retrieved in real time until data that may take longer to retrieve in subsequent steps is received, Chandrasekaran said.

Because of Vitria's process management strength, it is in a better position to build composite applications, said Jon Derome, an analyst with the Yankee Group.

"Most integration vendors can consume or generate Web services, but the problem is when you're building lots of Web services. What you need is some kind of management capability to bind those pieces appropriately."

Customers can implement their Web services in seconds using Vitria's graphical wizard, which requires no custom coding, the company said.

Vitria's Web Services module 2.0 supports industry standards including Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) 1.1, XML, XML Schema, and Web Services Description Language (WSDL) 1.1. It is interoperable with .net and other SOAP servers for partner integration.
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