Compaq, Iona Partner Around Web Services Technology

Middleware support gets a boost

Compaq Computer Corp. and Iona Technologies have reached an agreement that bolsters Compaq’s middleware support for Web services, and could extend Iona’s presence in high and low-end enterprise server environments.

Under terms of the deal, Compaq will provide systemsintegration support for Orbix E2A, Iona’s Web services-based strategy throughwhich it is driving its application server and middleware technologies.

Details of the partnership are limited, as much of thearrangement is currently protected under a non-disclosure agreement. However,the companies have revealed that 300 members of Compaq’s Global Servicesdivision will be trained to administer Iona’s Web services software.Furthermore, Compaq is expected to make the Orbix E2A Web Services IntegrationPlatform and Orbix E2A Application Server critical pieces of itsintegration-services strategy going forward.

According to Joanne Friedman, VP of electronic-businessstrategies for information technology analyst firm META Group Inc., Iona’sOrbix E2A platform gives Compaq an immediate presence in the middleware space,in terms of its support for Web services.

Compaq, which has built its reputation largely aroundhardware, has not been as active in adopting Web services standards andprotocols as some of the more software-centric vendors, including BEA Systemsand IBM. Both BEA and IBM offer robust support for Web services in theirWebLogic and WebSphere middleware lines, respectively. Now, through Iona, Friedmansays Compaq can compete with leading vendors on the Web services front.

The pending merger between Compaq and Hewlett-Packardcould have a big impact on this deal, as HP’s Bluestone division is already abig-time player in the Web services software space. “I have some questionsabout [the merger], and I’m not sure how it all fits together,” says Friedman.“There could be some overlap [between Bluestone and Iona.]” Should Compaq andHP successfully mesh Iona and Bluestone, Friedman believes the combined entitywould be a dominant Web services player.

Meanwhile, Friedman says the merger could also be amajor coup for Iona, giving it increased exposure in both HP’s high-end Unixsetting and on Compaq’s low-end platform.

Compaq and Iona's relationship began in 1999 when the two companies agreed to build enterprise solutions based on Iona's integration software and Compaq's Tru64 UNIX platform. Compaq has also offered support for IONA's Orbix 2000 and iPortal Application Server on the OpenVMS platform, as well as certified Orbix 2000 on the NonStop Himalaya servers.

About the Author

Matt Migliore is regular contributor to He focuses particularly on Microsoft .NET and other Web services technologies. Matt was the editor of several technology-related Web publications and electronic newsletters, including Web Services Report, ASP insights and MIDRANGE Systems.