Progress Announces Acquisition of Actional Corporation--Web Services Management Platform will become a product unit within Sonic.

by David A. Chappell

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Progress Software Corp today announced it has reached agreement to acquire Actional Corporation. Actional is a leading provider of Web Services Management (WSM) software for visibility and run-time governance of distributed IT systems in a Service- Oriented Architecture (SOA). Actional's Web Services Management Platform will become a product unit within Sonic. This extends our leadership and increases the breadth of capabilities in SOA infrastructure offerings from Sonic.

Actional has two main products – Looking Glass, a Web Service Management (WSM) platform, and SOAPstation, a Web services broker.

Looking Glass provides end-to-end business process visibility across any SOA deployment. Using non-intrusive Ghost Agents and a unique process tracking technology, Looking Glass automatically discovers services and correlates message paths through the SOA network.

Looking Glass dynamically creates a map of your end-to-end business transactions across multiple service requests that may span a variety of protocols and platforms. A wide range of usage and performance metrics can then be captured and correlated for governance, troubleshooting, and process optimization. Unlike its competitors, the reach of Looking Glass is not limited to SOAP and Web services, but can also be used to automatically detect and monitor business transactions as they flow across a wide variety of application servers, databases, and network appliances. In addition to being able to track SOAP calls, Looking Glass can also non-intrusively track requests across .NET, JMS, JDBC, EJB invocations using RMI, and track related calls across these different environments. The list of platforms supported are many, but include .NET, BEA WebLogic, IBM WebSphere, JBoss. Appliances supported include Reactivity, Sarvega, and CISCO AON.

Actional SOAPstation is a SOA intermediary that provides runtime governance through policy-based security and access control, service level agreement (SLA) management and enforcement using active mediation.

Everybody has the target of SOA in their sights. But each organization views the path of how to get there somewhat differently – based on their immediate needs and concerns.
Many organizations identify the need to secure and govern their web services – so we offer SOAPstation for those customers. Others see that they need to monitor and measure their SOA – so we offer Looking Glass for those customers. And others view their most immediate problem as being how to connect and orchestrate their services – and for these we have been offering the ESB.

Regardless of the entry point there is an appropriate and best-of-breed solution to satisfy those requirements and a broader set of infrastructure capabilities when they move beyond those immediate requirements.

The Actional and Sonic products can be used independently of one another, or combined to support the entire SOA lifecycle from service definition and deployment, to process definition and staging, to runtime visibility and real-time optimization. Sonic ESB is the preferred platform to connect, mediate and orchestrate services in an enterprise SOA environment, and Actional's platform-agnostic approach to SOA visibility and run-time governance supports SOA environments using ESBs, application servers, or other technologies.

The full press release, and FAQ document, can be found at the Sonic Software, Progress, or Actional web sites.