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Web services start-up cozies up to BEA

Web services management upstart Confluent Software announces a deal to combine its software with BEA Systems' Java programming tool.

Web services management start-up Confluent Software on Monday announced a deal to combine its software with BEA Systems' Java programming tool.

Under the deal, customers will be able to access Confluent's management tools from a forthcoming version of BEA's Java-based WebLogic Workshop development technology due midyear. By tying Web services management to development processes, businesses will be able to ensure better application performance and more easily make changes to software, said Rajiv Gupta, Confluent's founder and CEO.

Confluent is joining a handful of companies that create software to manage networks running Web services applications. Web services management software monitors networked applications to ensure that their performance is acceptable. Gupta counts AmberPoint and Talking Blocks as two of its competitors in this emerging niche.

Confluent's software acts as an "air traffic control system" for Web services, Gupta said. The software lets administrators follow the performance of a single Web service and add underlying functions such as security, quality of service, and caching to all Web services running on a network, he said.

"You want a platform that's almost like a set of best practices to enforce how Web services interact with each other," he said.

Gupta led the development of a Hewlett-Packard project called E-Speak, an initiative that helped define Web services in the 1990s but never gained market acceptance.

Confluent also is looking to make agreements to integrate its Web services management tool with Microsoft and IBM technologies. Earlier this month, AmberPoint and Microsoft decided to integrate AmberPoint's management tool with Microsoft's Visual Studio.Net development application."