Middleware as application defense?

It is educational to sit in on a presentation at a Gartner conference on a topic you know nothing about. The big theme of this year’s Spring Symposium is Managing Complexity which just makes my eyes glaze over.

It is educational to sit in on a presentation at a Gartner conference on a topic you know nothing about. The big theme of this year’s Spring Symposium is Managing Complexity which just makes my eyes glaze over. There are other phrases that are plastered all over vendor booths and presentation titles that are equally befuddling. And they all seem to include the word architecture. Service Oriented Architecture is obviously the next big thing but where can I order a case of SOA? Talk about complex! SOA is so complex you cannot even buy any!

So I sat in on a vendor presentation. Mostly because I feel sorry for the guys that have to give these because they spend a lot of time getting ready for the big Gartner event and preparing their presentations. Then they get to the allotted time and place (usually the late afternoon) and only four or five people show up in a room that has seating for 300. The presenter from NetManage that I saw handled this very professionally. His topic was composite applications and SOA. So now I understand composite applications even if I am a little shaky on the SOA stuff. (Something to do with XML).

NetManage I recall from the early years of the Internet with their chameleon product. All that is left of chameleon is in their logo. NetManage is about presenting applications from back end servers to front end devices. They can provide drag and drop tools to quickly take any set of applications and present them as 3270 green screens, or HTML in a web browser or even a handheld device.

The thing that I thought showed promise from a security perspective was that in the process of putting together this middleware they could invoke new business rules with a “rules engine