Intel tool will clock Web services' lap times

Anticipating the emergence of new applications that will be delivered over the Internet as services, Intel Corp. Monday detailed a tool it plans to release for testing the performance of these new applications on its chips.

At the Intel Developer Forum, which began here Monday, the company previewed a tool called the VTune Enterprise Analyzer, which it plans to release later this year. The tool will allow developers to test the performance of these new Web-based applications, known as Web services, as it sends and processes information across the Internet.

Developers would use the VTune Enterprise Analyzer to diagnose the various interactions that take place between the components of a Web service, Intel said. For example, the tool will detail which components of the Web service take the longest time to process.

During a keynote presentation here, Richard Wirt, a fellow with the company's enterprise platform group, detailed Web services the company developed for demonstration purposes using Microsoft Corp.'s Office XP Web services toolkit. Wirt also tested the performance of those Web services with the company's new tool.

The demonstration simulated a series of Web services that would link the computer system of a bike shop to the systems of its vendor partners. Using Web services based on XML (Extensible Markup Language), developed using Microsoft Corp.'s .Net Framework, the bike shop would be able to enter inventory totals into an application on a handheld device and have that information automatically integrated into an Excel spreadsheet on the bike shop's desktop PC.

Once the inventory was in the spreadsheet, another Web service was able to compile from various sources the latest pricing for each of the products, and integrate that information directly into the Excel spreadsheet. Finally, the bike shop could then use a Web service to automatically place orders with its various vendors in order to replenish its inventory.

After the services were completed, the VTune Enterprise Analyzer was able to test the performance of each Web service by measuring the speed and efficiency of each interaction among the handheld, the PC and the server. A developer could use the diagnosis to tweak components of a Web service to increase its performance, Intel said.

In addition to testing Web services developed using Microsoft's .Net Framework, the VTune tool will be able to test Java applications, Intel said.

"Both .Net and Java will be driving factors in this (next) phase of the Internet," Wirt said.

Intel also announced plans Monday to release a compiler and toolkit it developed for multithreading applications, which are applications that can run different functions simultaneously. Currently available in its beta version, the Intel Threading Toolkit will generate threads in an application automatically using the Intel-designed compiler. It supports applications built for the Windows NT and Linux operating systems.

The Intel Threading Toolkit is expected to be available for final release later this year, the company said.

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