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SOA - Integration Industry Pulse

Beth Gold-Bernstein

The Value of SOA Transaction Visibility

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Last week, AmberPoint released Business Transaction Management . I spoke with AmberPoint's John Hubinger, Chairman, President and CEO, and Ed Horst Vice President Product Strategy, regarding this announcement. They told me the company experienced 80% growth last year, adding 25 new customers per quarter. As their customers' solutions become more widely deployed, moving more into the business level applications, the requirement increased for end-to-end business level visibility of transactions as they move through and across systems. AmberPoint Business Transaction Management provides this end-to-end business level visibility.

Business Transaction Management is enabled in large part by another announcement AmberPoint made regarding extending SOA Governance to SaaS and packaged applications. Now AmberPoint provides visibility into transaction flow for all parts of the SOA infrastructure, including process engines, service buses, BPMS, and now enterprise applications from software vendors and SaaS providers, without modifying any of the underlying applications. This expanded connectivity removes the obstacles to enabling end-to-end visibility. There is tremendous business value in this. For example, a failure in a system processing $250,000 per minute could be extremely costly. This solution allows managers to track the business value flowing through the system.

The technology is non-invasive and requires no changes to the underlying systems. It enables intervention and correction to prevent a failure of a service agreement or transaction failure. For example, you could change the running of the system to ensure that you would never fall out of compliance with a particular SLA by throttling back demand in one area so that the most demanding SLAs are still met.

For fast problem resolution, the system can pinpoint exactly where in the process the error occurred. Visibility into the content helps determine if the problem was the content is not structured correctly, or the values are out of range. For example, a booking a reservation transaction coming through for $0 should raise a flag for reviewing the transaction before committing.

As an analyst, one of my favorite things to do when learning about a new solution is to discover what I call "the secret sauce". What makes this technology magic happen? Is it truly unique or easily reproducible? AmberPoint's secret sauce is patent pending technology they call finger printing. This fingerprint follows a transaction to enable visibility into different pieces and interactions of the transaction. Interactions are identified and correlated into patterns, providing further insights into how the transaction is behaving. This is also part of the secret sauce.

While Hubinger and Horst are understandably happy about adding 25 new customers a quarter, that is still a very small fraction of the organizations adopting SOA. A recent survey conducted by ebizQ found that even companies with the most advanced SOA deployments - in terms of enterprise reach and number of reusable services - have yet to formulate governance strategies or methods to measure the value of their SOA to the business. I think that Business Transaction Management has the potential to help speed adoption of governance solutions once those who hold the purse strings realize the business value of this level of visibility.

Industry trends and vendor spotlights from Beth Gold-Bernstein.

Beth Gold-Bernstein

Beth Gold-Bernstein is a recognized expert in integration technologies and SOA with over 20 years experience View more

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