IONA registry product enters the SOA governance fray

So the turf war between registry/repository giants continues, with Systinet moving squarely into the network management layer and focusing on control, and webMethods/Infravio, focusing on agility and business enablement through SOA governance. There is room for a major new player, such as IONA.

The relatively uncluttered landscape of SOA governance/registry products has another player with IONA’s announcement today of its Artix Registry/Repository. IONA says its new offering stands out from other such products because it's more than a static archive and allows customers to design, build, deploy and revise services into a distributed SOA infrastructure.

Among the features that IONA promises for the new registry are:

  • Capture and Discovery -- allowing customers to store all critical network information, including contracts, policies, configuration details, and QoS.
  • Service Network Provisioning -- which eliminate manual provisioning and simplifies configuration and deployment based on corporate policies.
  • SOA Validation -- through compliance checks for architectural consistency, schema use and policy application.
  • Visual Service Management -- an Eclipse-based tooling console that includes a policy editor and visually illustrates service-consumer/service-provider relationships.

IONA says that by capturing and storing the metadata associated with deployed services, the new Artix Registry/Repository provides customer with important visibility in the ROI of their SOA implementation. By simplifying packaging and provisioning of services, it adds to an organization's agility in responding to changing business conditions.

Validating deployed services against the stored view of the network is designed to help eliminate errors during updating, and because the IONA Registry/Repository can encapsulate and store all relevant information about that network, the entire network of services can be redeployed, if necessary.

Given the big push by IONA to contribute to, embrace and up-sell from open source, should we expect an open source Registry/Repository iteration that greases the skids to use and adoption of the full Atrix version? It may make sense.

I think the market will welcome another best-of-breed registry/repository now that the other components are part of larger suite-like offerings. Before the IONA announcement today, the field was pretty much left to two players: Systinet, now part of HP Mercury and the Infravio X-Registry from webMethods. Sun and TIBCO are also working the market, but seem to be playing to their installed bases mostly.

UPDATE: Todd Biske correctly adds more players in the mix, even if the definitions of registry and repository can prompt some confusion. We might as well lump them all together.

Ann Thomas Manes of Burton Group recently described Systinet as the dominant player, with 250 customers, and Infravio with six or seven. As she put it, Systinet is the market and Infravio is a "mosquito over on the side." Ouch. Oh, but Ann used to work at Systinet, so perhaps that bears consideration.

webMethods' Miko Matsumura, writing last year, saw the battlefield tilted in a slightly different way, although he did tip his hat to the powerhouse combination of HP-Mercury-Systinet. Unsurprisingly, where Manes saw a "mosquito," Matsumura saw a "registry giant." Hear more from Miko on the role of governance in a recent BriefingsDirect SOA Insights podcast.

So the turf war between registry/repository giants continues, with Systinet moving squarely into the network management layer and focusing on control, and webMethods/Infravio, focusing on agility and business enablement through SOA governance, as Miko put it. There is room for a major new player, such as IONA.

I don't expect to see much open source components from webMethods or HP, so IONA may have a significant opening with the commercial-open source go-to-market opportunity -- as it has done with ESB -- on the registry/repository front. We haven't seen much maturity of the open source UDDI register project.

Disclosure: HP and IONA have been or are sponsors of BriefingsDirect podcasts.

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