Tool released for discovery, monitoring

In an effort to overcome complexities associated with Web services management, Computer Associates on Monday introduced Unicenter Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) 1.0, a tool designed to automatically discover and monitor Web services.

During its annual CA World user conference in Las Vegas, the software giant also announced beefed-up products for its Web services portfolio that should help users overcome infrastructure hurdles and performance ramifications of Web services implementations.

For the monitoring of Web services within .Net environments and support of ASP .Net, CA introduced Unicenter Management for .Net Framework 3.0. The tool offers service-level reporting, health and performance reporting, and capacity utilization, said Dmitri Tcherevik, vice president and director of Web services at Islandia, N.Y.-based CA.

Meanwhile, Unicenter Management for WebSphere Release 3.5 and Unicenter Management for WebLogic 3.5 work within J2EE to discover deployed Web services and their interfaces.

Tcherevik said WSDM can analyze information about services, servers, and applications surrounding Web services to enable customers to either take corrective action or allow Unicenter’s automated “self-healing” capability to resolve the problem without human intervention.

Supporting both the J2EE and .Net environments, WSDM offers services controls that allow users to disable, enable, or redirect Web services. The product monitors service characteristics of Web services transactions. In effect, uses can use WSDM to automatically set alert thresholds and offer centralized management.

Following suit to many large-scale vendors who are taking a “wait-and-see” approach toward building Web services management tools and products, CA’s announcement on Monday served to stake out the software maker’s territory in the closely watched field, said Corey Ferengul, vice president at Stamford, Conn.-based Meta Group.

The Meta analyst said vendors such as Hewlett-Packard who are aggressively targeting standards in favor of a product-first approach such as CA may hold a greater advantage.

“Standards will be important because of [managing services and] things you don’t own, in from someone else’s enterprise,” said Ferengul. “The market hasn’t told us what they want yet or who they want to win. It’s going to take CA to turn around and buy into standards efforts” to be successful.

Ferengul lauded CA’s attention on the .Net infrastructure and environment with its round of announcements on Monday. However, he said CA will face challenges in the early Web services product world in regards to point-product initiatives as well as how to clearly illustrate the flow of joining Web services and infrastructure.

Lastly, CA announced the release of eTrust Directory 4.1. The product offers a UDDI implementation to support Web services, featuring the ability to store, replicate, and distribute vast amounts of Web services data.