WebMethods trial lets users test-drive Web services

WebMethods has served up a free, 60-day evaluation version of its application integration platform.

WebMethods has served up a free, 60-day evaluation version of its application integration platform.

Officials said the software trial aimed to let users try out Web services, providing them the opportunity to see how a services-based approach simplifies enterprise application integration (EAI).

"There has been confusion around Web services and whether they are easy to build on this platform or that," said Pat Condon, senior manager of strategic planning at WebMethods. "Our customers wanted us to show them first, so we decided to open the gates."

To get a taste of Web services, users will be downloading WebMethods' integration server, along with application adapters of their choice.

After the 60-day trial, users will be offered a chance to continue with the platform starting at $50,000 (£32,658) per CPU, said Condon.

The adapters included with the offering will allow users to Web services-enable their packaged applications, Condon said, because "customers don't just want to build Web services, but want to use them to connect to existing apps".

The evaluation model also includes a graphical environment for creating, integrating, testing, and deploying Web services that will not require manual coding. The solution will also feature tutorials and online support for Web services development and integration.

Web services capabilities have been available in WebMethods' integration platform since last October, and have been upgraded as the various standards have crystallized over the months, Condon said.

The embrace of Web services as an integration strategy has become a competitive necessity for WebMethods and other traditional EAI vendors including Tibco Systems, Vitria Techology, SeeBeyond Technology and Iona Technologies.

As Web services simplifies integration through standard interfaces and loosely coupled components, the high-ticket application integration market could become more commoditised, according to industry observers.

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