Mercury, a provider of business technology optimisation software, is to acquire Systinet, which produces IT management tools for service oriented architectures (SOAs).
The £60m acquisition is regarded as an important step in the evolution of SOAs. 2006 is predicted by many analysts to be the year that SOAs enter the mainstream, with suppliers providing references of users who have successful deployed the architectures.
Combining project lifecycle management with an SOA is seen as the way forward. Neil Ward-Dutton, a partner at analyst firm Maceiter Ward-Dutton, said, "What is clear from users who have moved beyond early SOA projects is the need to think about the lifecycle of an SOA."
He said users needed to have full control of the lifecycle of an SOA in order to demonstrate business value.
According to analyst firm AMR Research, one of the biggest concerns regarding SOAs and composite applications is ownership and responsibility. When an application is composed of services that span many functional areas, users need to ascertain who is ultimately accountable for its success or failure.
AMR Research analyst Dennis Gaughan said, "The IT management and SOA worlds are heading down parallel tracks with the concepts of service registries and service catalogues.
"While one is for management and the other for execution, there needs to be tight linkage between the two, which makes the Mercury/Systinet combination an important one for companies that want to govern in a consistent manner."
Systinet technology is used to manage SOA business services and to build secure web services. Systinet technology, when combined with Mercury BTO Enterprise offerings, will help users to take a lifecycle approach to optimising the quality, performance and availability of SOA business services, Mercury said.
Systinet SOA products provide a "system of record" and a set of governance and lifecycle capabilities that help provide the visibility, control, quality and integrity needed to build an SOA.
They deliver capabilities for publishing and discovering business services; creating, managing and enforcing policies; and managing the full lifecycle of business services and other SOA assets.