$13M For Newly Merged Actional/Westbridge

The fledgling Web-services-management market tastes its first consolidation.

Charles Babcock, Editor at Large, Cloud

October 19, 2004

3 Min Read

Actional Corp., a Web-services-management company, has merged with Westbridge Technology Inc., a supplier of Web-services security.

Tom Ryan, CEO at Westbridge for less than 11 months, will be CEO of the combined company, which will retain Actional's name. Dan Foody, chief technology officer of Actional, will become CTO of the combined company. The merged companies have also landed $12.9 million in new venture capital.

"This new company is the result of a 50/50 merger," Ryan says. "It was not driven by the demands of venture-capital members on our boards."

Actional's combined product line will be called Command and Control Platform and will be geared toward making the components of a services-oriented architecture more secure and manageable.

"Customers have been asking for integration in this space. [The lack of integration] is a symptom of a much larger problem," Ryan says--getting an enterprise software infrastructure to function as a part of a services-oriented architecture.

In a services-oriented architecture, software functionality in legacy systems is converted into software objects, or independent modules of code, that can be called as needed over a network. Their functions are often combined with new Web services, but management and security must be provided on the network, not on the legacy servers. The challenge of a services-oriented approach is to migrate managing services and security away from legacy servers out onto the network. The merger is an attempt to meet that goal.

Command and Control Platform will provide a management console that combines a view of security alongside a view of application performance, Foody says. Westbridge's XMS product brings to the platform expertise in parsing XML messages, inspecting them for possible malicious code or questionable senders or suspicious destinations. It can apply security policies to the inspection results.

Command and Control Platform will also incorporate Actional's Looking Glass technology, which places agents in running applications and uses feedback from them to capture a view of application response times. The agents' information also allows the console to generate alerts if performance is falling below designated thresholds, Foody says.

Actional's Looking Glass and other products, along with Westbridge's XMS, will remain independent, priced at $4,995 per CPU. A combined set of products, along with business analytics capabilities, will be available as the Command and Control Platform in 30 days at a price of $75,000.

The set will allow actions between applications to be monitored and brokered, so that the highest-priority requests receive the right resources, the load is balanced across available servers, and compliance ensured with existing policies and procedures. The platform offers single sign-on for users across a set of services that might have previously required multiple user log-ins and authorizations, Foody says.

The platform does not include a UDDI directory, which is a standard way for services to be described and discovered on a network, but Foody said it will work with a third-party UDDI directory from Systinet Corp.

About the Author(s)

Charles Babcock

Editor at Large, Cloud

Charles Babcock is an editor-at-large for InformationWeek and author of Management Strategies for the Cloud Revolution, a McGraw-Hill book. He is the former editor-in-chief of Digital News, former software editor of Computerworld and former technology editor of Interactive Week. He is a graduate of Syracuse University where he obtained a bachelor's degree in journalism. He joined the publication in 2003.

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