Cape Clear Offers EAI Web Services

Cape Clear updates its Web services development environment.

Yesterday, Cape Clear Software officially launched new releases of its Web services-based integration platform and developer environment. The updated solutions, CapeConnect 3.5 and CapeStudio 3.0, provide enhanced features for working with WSDL, tighter integration with each other, and increased support for third-party XML data sources.

One of the key components of CapeStudio 3.0 is a new WSDL editor that allows developers to build components from scratch, as well as render existing applications and systems as Web services. With previous editions of CapeStudio, it wasn’t possible to create Web services independent of existing architecture.

Cape Clear also added new XML mapping technology, which can link XML data sources, such as PeopleSoft and SAP, to any Web service hosted within CapeConnect 3.5. And CapeConnect has been successfully tested against the release candidates of Microsoft’s .NET Framework Software Development Kit and Microsoft Visual Studio .NET.

The updates to CapeConnect and CapeStudio come amid an ongoing effort by Cape Clear to position itself as a strong alternative to traditional enterprise application integration vendors.

Anrai O’Toole, CEO for Cape Clear, says Web services represent a cost-effective way to employ tactical systems integration within the firewall. As such, he says, Cape Clear has been working aggressively with its customers to identify how its products can be used to promote application integration, both at the enterprise level and at the small-to-medium sized business level.

“We believe we can target a lot of businesses that EAI vendors have been going after for the past few years,” says O’Toole.

According to Tyler McDaniel, an analyst with IT research firm Hurwitz Group, Web services-based integration solutions may fit well in the small-to-medium sized market, where even the most economical EAI products are often seen as too costly. Furthermore, he says, the standards-based nature of Web services make them attractive for integration projects that need to be flexible enough to adapt to the changing needs of a business. “When it comes to integration, you don’t want to get fenced in,” says McDaniel.

With CapeConnect 3.5, Cape Clear allows any JDBC-compliant database to be exposed as a Web service. And it also provides more support for UDDI registries on Oracle databases, and an upgrade to CapeConnect's UDDI graphical interface.

As an integration platform, CapeConnect can render existing Java, EJB, .NET and CORBA components as Web services. And it can connect J2EE, CORBA, C++, COM, C#, Visual Basic, and Perl technologies using Web services standards such as SOAP, WSDL and UDDI.

Traditionally, EAI projects have relied on a lot of proprietary, custom work to bring applications and systems together. The recent emergence of XML has attracted the attention of a lot of EAI vendors, particularly in the integration broker space. O’Toole sees this as a continuing trend that will soon be heavily involved with Web services, which are essentially a set of XML-based standards.

“Most people don’t want to continue investing in the old economy of EAI,” says O’Toole. “They want to move on as quickly as they can into the new economy of EAI.”

About the Author

Matt Migliore is regular contributor to ENTmag.com. 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.