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IBM bolsters service oriented architecture efforts

Unveils new products, services for ongoing SOA push, aiming to expand its market beyond corporate America and into midsize companies.

IBM unveiled on Tuesday new products and services for its ongoing service oriented architecture efforts, aiming to expand its market beyond corporate America to midsize businesses.

As previously reported, IBM announced new and enhanced SOA products designed to aid customers in creating, assembling, deploying and managing integration and work flow products. The products and services are part of Big Blue's middleware WebSphere portfolio.

"We're providing more tooling and function to make it easier to use...and trying to widen market appeal to a midmarket audience," said Steve Mills, group president of IBM's Software Group.

As part of those efforts, IBM introduced its new WebSphere Enterprise Service Bus. The ESB provides connectivity and integration for Web services applications and services.

"We heard from customers that they wanted to start small and have a basic SOA based on basic Web services," said Robert LeBlanc, general manager of WebSphere.

Companies are expected to spend tens of millions of dollars on infrastructure software to build and run SOAs, according to estimates by industry analysts. And IBM is looking to increase its slice of the pie, as it goes up against such competitors as SAP, Oracle, BEA Systems and Microsoft.

IBM also added enhancements to its modeling technology for creating SOAs with WebSphere Business Modeler. The tool is intended to let customers design the work flow before deployment.

Big Blue also debuted WebSphere Integration Developer, a development tool geared toward allowing developers to connect to various services that represent a certain part of the business process, LeBlanc said.

Other new products include WebSphere Process Server, open-standards software designed to simplify the integration of business processes among employees, systems and business partners.