SOA Software acquires X4ML Web services platform from Merrill Lynch

Source: SOA Software

SOA Software, the leading provider of comprehensive SOA and Web services management, security and governance solutions, today announced the acquisition of the X4ML Mainframe Web services platform from Merrill Lynch.

The purchase of this patent-pending technology provides SOA Software with a production proven, unique Mainframe Web services solution that complements SOA Software's existing products to create a complete SOA Infrastructure solution addressing B2B, legacy and distributed applications.

Merrill Lynch began designing and building X4ML in 2001 and is currently running version 3 of the platform in production, exposing and consuming more than 600 Web services and processing more than 1,500,000 transactions per day. The team responsible for creating and managing the platform comprises industry-leading experts in CICS and z/OS programming, and XML, Web services and distributed technologies. This team has joined SOA Software to continue the development of their technology and see its wide adoption in the market through SOA Software's sales channels.

"Merrill Lynch is extremely proud of the technology our team created for Mainframe Web services with the X4ML platform," said Andy Brown, chief technology architect of Merrill Lynch. "We are very excited that SOA Software has chosen to purchase this technology and take it to market as SOLA. As the premier vendor of SOA infrastructure solutions, SOA Software is uniquely equipped to ensure that this technology and team achieves the success that it so richly deserves."

SOA Software is launching the product under the product and brand name of SOLATM (Service Oriented Legacy Architecture). SOLA will be offered as a standalone product, and as an integrated part of SOA Software’s comprehensive infrastructure solutions.

"Organizations with strategic mainframe platforms should consider an integration strategy based on a service-oriented architecture," said Dale Vecchio, research vice president at Gartner in a recent report. "Interest in exposing current systems as services and events is showing growth in the marketplace."

"For large organizations, embracing an SOA framework provides a business-oriented flexibility not possible before. This new capability adds a great deal of value to SOA Software's holistic approach to SOA Infrastructure deployments," said William Mougayar, vice president & service director, AberdeenGroup. The experience acquired from a demanding environment such as Merrill Lynch is a useful proof-point for legacy applications enablement into SOAs."

SOA Software's SOLA (Service Oriented Legacy Architecture), solves one of today's most pressing problems – integrating new distributed applications with legacy mainframe applications. It provides customers with a fast, easy, reliable, and secure way to expose mainframe applications as Web services, and allows mainframe applications to consume Web services. SOLA runs as a set of mainframe applications to capitalize on the reliability and performance offered by this platform to deliver Web services with minimal overhead and low, fixed costs.

SOLA enables mainframes to expose and consume Web services. It is a unique single solution that bridges the gap between databases and applications on the mainframe and the distributed world, leveraging decades of investment. SOLA accomplishes this without any additional hardware, software, middleware, coding, or cross platform skills training.

SOLA's toolset reduces application development cost and time to market. Most importantly, this is a proven product, as it is used successfully in extensive production roll-out today at Merrill Lynch processing more than 1.5 million transactions daily.

SOLA offers unique value to SOA Software's customer for many reasons, including:

  • An enterprise ready, standards-based, mainframe web services platform with performance and scalability proven in production at Merrill Lynch
  • Easy to use, fully integrated, user centric mainframe Web services development environment
  • Cost effective platform requires no additional hardware or software for Web services run time

SOLA key features include:

  • Services are published by the service owner (usually the mainframe programmer)
  • Standards based solution, including Web Services standards WS-Security and WS-Policy
  • Services are automatically documented in a centralized UDDI repository
  • Browser based Development Environment doesn't a require high-end workstation to create services
  • Production proven, high performance
  • No middleware required – services are hosted on the mainframe

CICS is still the backbone of many mainframe systems, linking end users to terminals, databases, files, and applications, supporting existing legacy systems that process billions of transactions on a daily basis. Corporate IT organizations are struggling to satisfy the demands that businesses' place on them. Challenges include:

  • Delivering return on assets (ROA) through reuse
  • Keeping the business stable
  • Lowering operating costs
  • Responding to rapidly changing market conditions
  • Modernizing the application portfolio

"The acquisition of Merrill Lynch's X4ML platform and team extends our leadership position in the SOA Infrastructure Market," said Eric Pulier, chairman and founder of SOA Software. "Every large enterprise needs SOA and Web services solutions to reduce the cost and improve the agility of legacy, B2B and distributed applications. Only SOA Software offers a comprehensive integrated suite of products that address all of these challenges."

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