SLOUGH â February 27, 2006 â Sonic Software, an operating unit of Progress Software Corp. (Nasdaq: PRGS), today announces the availability of Actionalâ¢ 6.0, the latest release of its award-winning management platform for service-oriented architecture (SOA). This release marks a new generation of SOA management technology with the introduction of Business Process Visibilityâ¢ (BPV), the first business process-centric approach to SOA visibility and management. Actional 6.0 allows business and IT users to gain a comprehensive view of individual business processes and their supporting business services and IT infrastructure, while simultaneously enforcing policies at the business process level.
Unlike the previous generations of SOA management, which provide only infrastructure-centric management of discrete services, Actional 6.0 allows organisations to discover end-to-end business processes as they execute individual business transactions, and then to manage the SOA from a business process-centric perspective, as well as manage individual business services.
"As SOA evolves as a key competitive factor for enterprises, SOA visibility and governance become business imperatives. Yet, most organisations are flying blind when it comes to managing their SOA environments," said Dan Foody, chief technology officer for Sonic Software. "Actional has long provided the ability to discover and govern individual services and independent transactions; Actional 6.0 brings SOA management to the next level, enabling organisations to take control of their SOA by providing visibility from a business perspective and delivering true end-to-end governance."
Additional major functionality in Actional 6.0 includes automated runtime governance, which provides auto-discovery and auto-enforcement of policies for services and processes, and 'Trust Zones' security to prevent unauthorised or non-compliant usage of services, deterring potential attacks within the SOA network. Actional 6.0 also delivers a new Web-based graphical user interface (GUI), enhanced standards support, and an expanded range of platform support.
Key Capabilities in Actional 6.0:
Business Process Visibilityâ¢
Actional 6.0 is the first SOA management platform to go beyond a service-by-service approach to visibility, governance and process optimisation, allowing organisations to create "business flow maps".
These "business flow maps" are derived from actual transactions which show how each process utilises individual services and their supporting IT infrastructure.
Actional 6.0 also allows business users to customise a Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) dashboard to report critical business indicators such as units shipped, time from order-to-cash or average order size, based directly on business processes as they execute. IT users gain access to key operational metrics such as failed transactions or service availability for the same business processes.
"Actional's Business Process Visibility provides Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. with focused visibility and management of the SOA business processes that are most critical to our success, more closely aligning IT with business needs," said Israel Del Rio, senior vice president of technology solutions & architecture, Starwood Hotels and Resorts Worldwide, Inc. "This feature is a natural extension to Actional's unique auto-discovery capabilities, which means we'll immediately benefit from it, without any manual definition or coding of processes in our SOA network."
Automated Runtime Governance
Actional 6.0 solves a fundamental issue facing virtually every production SOA deployment: rogue services and processes that can introduce operational and security risks. Actional 6.0 is the first SOA management platform to address this problem by automatically discovering services, including rogue services, the instant they are deployed, and automatically enforcing applicable business, IT and security policies.
As a result, businesses can significant reduce the risk associated with rogue services and processes and dynamically bring them into alignment with defined policies.
Additionally, Actional 6.0 is fully integrated with UDDI v.3 service registries, such as the recently released Systinet 2. This capability allows organisations to define a 'closed loop' process for end-to-end SOA governance, ensuring not only that defined policies are enforced at runtime, but also that runtime realities are accurately reflected in the registry.
"The new capabilities delivered with Actional 6.0 are an excellent complement to Systinet 2, allowing organisations to achieve end-to-end governance of their SOA," said said Tom Erickson, president of Systinet, a division of Mercury Interactive Corporation. "We have a strong relationship with Actional and we see this integration as an important part of making our joint customers' SOA endeavors successful."
'Trust Zones,' also new in Actional 6.0, allow customers to secure an end-to-end process flow and create a central, policy-based means for enforcing process-level security. Trust Zones prevent unauthorised, non-compliant usage of services and alleviate potential attacks within the SOA network.
According to Jeffrey D. LoVetere, software architect for Pfizer Global R&D Informatics, an early adopter of Actional 6.0, "the Trust Zone feature further enhances our existing security model, by allowing us to secure our business processes from end-to-end, essentially closing off vulnerabilities along the 'last mile' in our SOA network, and preventing potential governance issues. Combined with the performance and improved end user experience offered by the new Actional Web browser interface, we believe the Actional 6.0 products will provide us with a powerful platform to manage our SOA initiatives."
Additional Actional 6.0 Enhancements
Â· New Web-based GUIâoptimised for managing enterprise SOAs with thousands of services, with an enhanced AJAX-based UI.
Â· Standards Supportâdynamic security policy support for consumers and providers based on WS-Policy, WS-SecurityPolicy and WS-MetaDataExchange; and support for WS-ReliableMessaging.
Â· Extended Platform Supportâincludes monitoring for SAP Netweaver, Cisco AON, and Sonic ESBÂ®. Also includes an SDK for developing monitoring points for custom stacks and applications.