Actional Introduces Next Step in SOA Migration Solution

Experience with customers in production leads to release 5.5 with greatly improved visibility and security

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif. -- May 16, 2005 -- Actional, a leader in service-oriented architecture (SOA) management solutions, today announced the release of Looking Glass and SOAPstation 5.5, the next version of its Web services management platform.

Actional is reinforcing its commitment to customers by expanding its solutions to match customers' SOA migration. One of the most prevalent concerns is visibility into SOA infrastructure for policy enforcement and rapid triage, and support for SLAs, governance, and compliance. With the introduction of 5.5, customers now have visibility beyond SOAP and XML.

Sandra Rogers, program director of SOA and Web services research for IDC, agrees that large enterprise customers are becoming increasingly concerned about visibility and management of their SOAs. "As service-based applications and systems become more complex, organizations are seeking increasing levels of automation and integrated oversight of these environments," said Rogers. "Many organizations have built hybrid systems comprised of varied technologies and protocols, and thus visibility of where Web services-specific solutions interface with other domains is critical."

Actional Looking Glass 5.5 has expanded visibility features:

  • Ghost Agents enable customers to see into specific non-SOAP / XML applications as well as see through barriers to the next hop. Called "ghosts" because of their weightless and non-intrusive nature, these agents improve visibility into and beyond services that support JDBC, RMI, EJB and JMS as well as JBoss, JMS, Systinet, Sarvega and Reactivity services without slowing processing cycles.

  • Cluster visibility allows operations to track individual transactions across a cluster, including multiple application instances inside a CPU, bladed servers or separate boxes. This unprecedented capability allows teams to quickly and accurately triage random failures in a business process or transaction that crosses a cluster.

  • Asynchronous and long-running transaction visibility: With a service-oriented architecture, traditional monitoring and management technology is blind to asynchronous processes or transactions that can take hours or days to complete. For instance, an online product order carries multiple SLAs that extend beyond order submission and confirmation to credit card billing and the warehouse handoff to shipping vendors. Looking Glass 5.5 greatly improves overall SLA tracking, including exception notification and automated responses, by enabling visualization and control of messages that enter point A and then trigger dependent processes B, C, and D that may or may not respond to point A.

Actional SOAPstation 5.5 has expanded security features:

  • RSA ClearTrust SSO integration: This new integrated security capability allows customers to not only enforce identity and access management, but to reinforce it both at the perimeter and once inside a firewall.

  • File or URL-based Certificate Revocation List (CRL): SOAPstation technology leverages the CRL to enforce up-to-date security authorization both at and inside the perimeter.

"As our customers mature beyond pilot and into production, they are discovering what features are business critical for a scalable, enterprise-class SOA," said Actional CEO and President, Tom Ryan. "This mid-point release has altered our internal road map so that we may align our solutions with making our customers successful."

About Actional

As a leading provider of SOA management solutions, Actional addresses the specific challenges of securing, deploying and managing service-oriented environments, from early Web services projects to enterprise-wide SOA initiatives. For more information, visit

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