IBM Corp is aiming for an October launch of WebSphere Services Registry and Repository, Computer Business Review has learned.
The new repository, which IBM chose to build rather than go out and acquire unlike other products under the WebSphere umbrella, will be a key enabling technology for service-oriented architecture, or SOA. It will be branded under IBM’s SOA Foundation suite of products.
A registry and repository is seen as a key ingredient of SOA. Providing a standards-based way to register and subsequently discover web services that are stored in it, the registry and repository enables enterprises to improve the standardization, publishing, discovery, approval and interoperability of services, ultimately helping them get a little nearer to the holy grail of services re-use.
IBM’s VP SOA and WebSphere Strategy Channels and Marketing, Sandy Carter, told us that the company has five customers testing the repository in an alpha testing process, with general availability currently slated for October.
We went out into the market to see if there were other repositories out there that suited our needs but there was nothing available we would want to buy, Carter said. We decided we needed to build it ourselves.
One potential candidate would presumably have been Systinet and its eponymous Registry product, though that was acquired in January by Mercury Interactive for $105m in cash. Perhaps IBM baulked at the price tag: Systinet was privately held and though at the time of its acquisition said it had 170 customers, Mercury’s CFO David Murphy would not disclose its revenues or whether it was profitable at the time of its acquisition.
Hitherto, IBM customers have had to either look elsewhere for a registry and repository in which to store their web services, or to store them in IBM’s DB2 Universal Database. While IBM added support for the universal description, discovery, and integration standard — designed to provide an open framework for describing and discovering services — to DB2, it was seen as a rather ‘heavyweight’ approach, not designed specifically for web services.
Hence the race to come out with its own WebSphere Services Registry and Repository. On launch it will include UDDI 3 compliant registry for run-time discovery of services, plus a broader repository for design-time discovery.
According to Carter it will be a federated repository, meaning it can have multiple data stores that are kept in synch remotely. It will also be able to integrate with configuration management databases or CMDBs, as well as IBM’s WebSphere Studio Asset Analyzer product and also various Rational tools.
Carter said the new product will enable customers to securely register business services for finding, publishing and notifying changes to SOA infrastructure components such as Enterprise Service Bus and process servers.
It could also become a useful tool for SOA governance, acting as a single, unified view into the various stages of production, deployment and management of an enterprise’s business services.