IBM envisions its WebSphere application platform serving increasingly as a focal point for services provisioning.
Already in place to a degree, the Service Integration Bus paradigm anticipated by IBM will understand multiple protocols as well as Soap and Web services.
"We want to go into services-oriented architectures across the enterprise, and that goes way beyond [protocols such as Soap]," said Andre Tost, solutions architect in the IBM WebSphere Business Development organisation, during a presentation at the XML Web Services One conference at Santa Clara, California.
The Service Integration Bus would integrate applications such as portals, b-to-b interactions, web services and existing applications, and feature a common run-time environment. JCA (Java Connector Architecture) connectors would "talk" to mainframes and systems such as SAP implementations.
Additionally, IBM's web services vision for WebSphere features client- and server-side buses, using Web Services Invocation Framework and an attendant API.
"What this is showing in the end is that we want to have a bus-based architecture," Tost said.
Also incorporated into IBM's WebSphere blueprint are grid services for providing quality-of-service resources on demand; the Eclipse development tools framework for a portal-like development environment; and J2EE.
WebSphere would serve as a messaging backbone, Tost said.
Web services would supplement, and not replace, EAI (enterprise application integration) by making EAI easier. "A lot of people say web services will replace EAI, and that's not going to happen," Tost said.