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IBM pulls partners into SOA push

Offering access to tools and training, Big Blue encourages business partners to tap IBM's resources for building service-oriented architectures

IBM on Tuesday announced a program to encourage business partners to tap IBM's software and consulting expertise to build modular, standards-based business applications. At a customer conference in London, IBM detailed a set of resources that IBM-aligned application vendors and systems integrators can use to build service-oriented architectures (SOAs), a system design for reusing individual programs.

IBM will allow partners to get free trial versions of its WebSphere Business Integration Modeler, a tool to help system architects design and simulate applications under development. IBM is also offering partners access to training from IBM's consultants. Some partners can also get access to marketing-related resources, such as joint advertising. Analysts and vendors expect that corporate customers will upgrade systems with an SOA design in mind because it promises to lower development costs and improve interoperability between disparate applications.