HP pitches Web services management standard

Seeking its consideration as an industry standard, Hewlett-Packard on Monday will announce plans to submit its Web Services Management Framework to the Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards (OASIS).

Also supporting the effort are Sun Microsystems, BEA Systems, Iona Technologies, Tibco Software, Informatica, and webMethods, according to HP. Not on board, at least for the moment, are IBM and Microsoft.

Version 2.0 of the framework -- the first public release -- will be available for public download Monday at http://devresource.hp.com/wsmf. It will be submitted to OASIS on July 28, according to the company. Specifically, the framework will be presented to the OASIS Distributed Management Technical Committee.

HP is spearheading an industrywide effort to create an industry standards-based solution for the management of, and with, Web services. Web services provide standards-based mechanisms for Internet-based application integration.

The company describes its Web Services Management Framework as a logical architecture for the management of resources, including Web services themselves, through the use of Web services.

HP's framework defines how IT resources in an enterprise can expose management information about themselves and how they can be managed. A management interface communicates immediate knowledge about changes in business processes and IT infrastructure whenever events occur.

The framework embraces standardization to provide customers and partners with a step-by-step approach to building a business process-oriented IT environment that dynamically adjusts to business changes, according to HP. J2EE, .Net, and other platforms can be managed via HP's framework.

"The Web Services Management Framework is really an architecture for the management of resources, including Web services, and utilizing Web services technology," said Joe McGonnell, director of the HP Web Services Management Organization.

"It helps the vendors to define how all the IT resources in 'Adaptive Enterprise' will be able to expose management information about themselves and how they will be managed in an adaptive way," he said.

Adaptive Enterprise is HP's plan for aligning business strategies and processes with an enterprise's IT infrastructure.

HP with its framework is attempting to promote standards in a young technology area, according to analystJudith Hurwitz, president of Hurwitz and Associates.

"I think it's pretty straightforward," Hurwitz said. "The only concern I would have is the fact that Web services management itself is young. It's going to evolve over the next several years."

"There's not a lot of companies that have fully implemented Web services, but being able to manage them is a key criteria for adoption," Hurwitz said.

A Sun official said HP's efforts were about extending management of objects to Web services. "The intent is to bring the ability to describe managed objects and events into a Web services world," said John Fowler, Sun CTO of software. Sun at some point could support the framework in products such as the Solaris operating environment and Sun ONE software platform.

An official at Actional, which sells Web services infrastructure software, said HP's submission, along with other submissions from other vendors, boosts standardization.

"What it ends up dong is providing even more insight into standards requirements and options for implementing standards," said James Phillips, senior vice president of products and marketing at Actional.

"Standards will help us because if customers can have a choice to purchase some components from Actional, some components from HP and others, they'll be more comfortable making purchasing decisions because they won't feel locked in. We absolutely welcome this submission," Phillips said.

Officials at IBM and Microsoft, who have been accused by Sun of attempting to foist their own Web services specifications on the industry as standards, could not be reached for comment on Friday.

HP announced in March its intentions to deliver a Web services management framework. The company has introduced for beta customers technologies that use the framework for the Adaptive Enterprise, including HP OpenView Web Services Management Engine and the Application Impact Analysis and Business Impact Analysis technologies.

HP has built implementations of the framework that enable interoperability between the OpenView and Tibco environments, according to company officials.

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