Flamenco Looks to Improve Connectivity for Web Services
Regardless of its potential to revolutionize the business of business, some observers claim that the much-ballyhooed Web services model is nonetheless subject to at least one decidedly un-revolutionary problem – that of assuring reliable transport of mission-critical Web services over the (at times) woefully erratic public Internet.
“When you use Web services to extend business applications across corporate boundaries, issues like network reliability, security and performance become crucial," explains Jamie Lewis, CEO and research director of consultancy The Burton Group (new window).
In an effort to address this problem – and, admittedly, to generate a little revenue in the process – Atlanta-based Flamenco Networks recently unveiled a new Web services network that it says ensures reliable connectivity among systems.
Flamenco’s Web services “network” doesn’t actually describe a dedicated network backbone but, rather, specifies a software framework that facilitates the secure connectivity, management and monitoring of applications that exploit Web services. In this regard, Flamenco’s Web services network leverages a peer-to-peer protocol which provides integrated authentication facilities, compresses data as it’s transmitted over the wire (to enhance performance by maximizing available bandwidth) and exploits SOAP as a means to communicate and interoperate with other Web services-enabled systems. Flamenco’s Web services network also lets users manage and monitor the network activity and statuses of their applications which leverage Web services, as well.
For his part, The Burton Group’s Lewis says that the emergence of so-called “Web services networks” – such as Flamenco’s – are prerequisites for the broader adoption of Web services in the enterprise as a whole: "Before enterprises can include customers, partners and suppliers in their business processes, the underlying network infrastructure must evolve to support Web services and that need is driving this new class of products called Web services networks."
Stephen Swoyer is a Nashville, TN-based freelance journalist who writes about technology.