Core technologies comprising Web services provide only a fraction of what's needed to build an enterprise-level IT system. While Web-services standards are useful for application integration, they don't provide for many services crucial to a distributed application environment, such as security, transaction integrity, and object management. Chutney Technologies Inc., a maker of application-optimization software, is one of the latest vendors looking to fill some of the gaps in Web-services standards.
On June 1, the Atlanta company will ship the Chutney Apptimizer for Soap, which CEO Anindya Datta says will speed up delivery of data associated with Simple Object Access Protocol requests and help deliver scalable security. Apptimizer stores data objects associated with commonly made requests within an application network. Rather than executing an application component to deliver the same data, requests are first redirected to Apptimizer to see whether the data exists in cache for a quicker response. The Apptimizer storage engine is priced at $100,000 and an additional $50,000 for failover capabilities.
Soap is the mechanism within Web services for receiving, sending, and responding to requests over HTTP, the Web communications protocol. Soap is based on XML, another emerging Web standard. Apptimizer, which will be demonstrated at NetWorld+Interop in Las Vegas next month, will be able to handle Soap requests just like it handles requests for Java, C++, and other applications. In addition, Apptimizer will let developers insert a key into the HTTP header of a Soap message that allows an application to authenticate the sender. Because the key is inserted in the header instead of in the body of the message, the security mechanism requires less time to process and is more scalable, company officials say.
As companies go beyond testing Web services and deploy computing architectures that use the emerging technologies to make applications available as services over the Internet, they will need optimization software such as Chutney's, as well as other tools needed to run an enterprise-level network, Burton Group analyst James Kobielus says. Chutney is "addressing a set of needs that will become pressing very quickly as companies roll out Web services," Kobielus says.
Chutney, founded in 1999, received $7.5 million in June in a second round of funding led by LiveOak Equity Partners of Atlanta. The company has about 10 customers, including J.P. Morgan, Merrill Lynch, and Sabre. Current customers use Chutney's products within Web-application infrastructures.