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iWay Gets a Retrofit for Service Oriented Architecture

Even an integration jack-of-all-trades can use a new service-enabled trick or two.

iWay Software has long been Information Builders Inc.’s (IBI) ace in the hole. It’s a bona fide data integration spin-off, with more than 285 different adapters into a host of different applications and data sources. What’s more, iWay software is licensed by a number of industry heavyweights, including BEA Systems Inc., SAP AG, and Sun Microsystems Inc., among others.

Even an integration jack-of-all-trades like iWay can use a new trick or two, however. Last week, IBI announced iWay SOA Middleware, an SOA-ready bundling of several iWay components. It helps retrofit iWay for service-enablement, for starters, and it also marks the debut of the iWay enterprise service bus (ESB). Not bad for a week’s work.

IBI’s iWay adapter stack doesn’t comprise an ETL toolkit, per se. It’s analogous, instead, to an enterprise information integration (EII) solution, in that it facilitates federated access to back-end data. This makes it ideal for service-enablement scenarios because it facilitates access to data where it resides, and lets customers create virtual or composite views of heterogeneous data sources.

IBI’s new iWay SOA Middleware offering consists of several different components, including iWay Service Manager (the iWay enterprise service bus, or ESB); iWay Service Monitor (which provides monitoring capabilities for iWay Service Manager); iWay Service Policy Manager (which implements usage and security policy management); iWay Process Manager (a BPEL-based business process management tool); iWay Trading Manager (a lightweight partner agreement management tool); and iWay Enterprise Index (which extends the search capabilities of the Google Search Appliance).

IBI’s new iWay entry isn’t entirely unexpected. Nor, for that matter, does it mark a departure from iWay’s bread-and-butter integration business. Last October, IBI CEO Gerry Cohen called iWay an “SOA middleware company,” and said the spin-off’s core competency was more generally as an enterprise application integration (EAI) player, and not strictly as a data integration specialist. “iWay software is really an EAI company. Now we call it an ‘SOA middleware company,’ because that’s what the buzzword is,” Cohen said.

This doesn’t mean iWay doesn’t have a role to play in the data integration space, Cohen stressed. “We are very active in promoting iWay for [data integration] and BI. In fact, we just finished a series of lecture tours for the integration council in Canada. We’re very active on the SOA [front], and we’re very active hyping [iWay for] SOA, too.”

About the Author

Stephen Swoyer is a technology writer with 20 years of experience. His writing has focused on business intelligence, data warehousing, and analytics for almost 15 years. Swoyer has an abiding interest in tech, but he’s particularly intrigued by the thorny people and process problems technology vendors never, ever want to talk about. You can contact him at [email protected].

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