The new architecture in AmberPoint's namesake product can delegate policy execution at runtime to infrastructure components of a SOA, while still maintaining the ability to monitor and enforce policies across the network. AmberPoint's older architecture deploys agents to execute policy instructions from the company's management software.
The new architecture has become necessary as makers of XML appliances, enterprise service busses, application servers, operating systems and other SOA infrastructure add the ability to configure and execute policies. In general, rules are set so the products can enforce security, diagnostic, or availability requirements; or service level agreements.
"The problem with many of the appliances and security solutions in the Web services and SOA space is that they require you to define the policies within their own solution, causing problems when there's multiple systems in the enterprise," Ronald Schmelzer, analyst for ZapThink LLC, said. "There's no reason to make such a tight coupling, and so, what Amberpoint is doing is right on par with what companies are increasingly looking for in environments of heterogeneity."
While AmberPoint may have an "early mover advantage," other vendors are either adding, or are looking to add, similar capabilities. Those vendors include Layer 7 Technologies, Forum Systems and SOA Software; as well as policy and metadata management vendors like Software AG, Infravio, and Logic Library, Schmelzer said. Big platform vendors IBM, BEA Systems, and others are also moving in the same direction.
AmberPoint started development of its new architecture about 18 months ago, Ed Horst, vice president of marketing, said. "We started changing in anticipation of this trend."
While the change "under the covers" is dramatic, customers using the new agent-less architecture won't see a difference in using the software, Horst said. "AmberPoint is still the runtime authority."
Nevertheless, to provide customers with a greater return on investment of their existing technology, AmberPoint leverages as much of the native policy execution capabilities of the runtime infrastructure as possible.
The new architecture is available to customers as an upgrade at no additional charge. Pricing for the AmberPoint SOA management platform starts at $35,000.