CA dips toe in hosted services pool

CA dips toe in hosted services pool

Computer Associates International edged into the hosted software market Monday, making the latest version of its Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) software available as a managed service.

"This is our first foray into a hosted service for our customers," said Chief Technology Officer Yogesh Gupta. "The world is changing. Customers want flexibility in how they deploy our products."

So far, no customers are signed up for the hosting service, which Gupta said will carry licensing costs comparable to those for WSDM's traditional, on-site installation license. "You don't have to install the software, so you save some of those headaches and costs ... but I don't believe cost is going to be the primary driver," he said. Pricing for WSDM varies depending on the number and type of Web services monitored.

Monday also marked the release of WSDM's latest version, 3.1. The update adds a development kit for easing integration with third-party software, as well as support for additional protocols such as CORBA (Common Object Request Broker Architecture) and EDI (Electronic Data Interchange).

WSDM customer Sam Higgins, applications architect for Australian regulatory agency Queensland Transport, said his organization relies on the software to help it keep tabs on its network of Web-based applications and services. Queensland Transport has placed online about 50 services to handle events such as scheduling driving tests and paying vehicle registration fees, and it collects A$260 million (US$181 million) annually through its online services.

"Implementing the SOA (service-oriented architecture) wasn't hard. Managing it is hard," Higgins said. "We had a very scary experience with a partner who was reusing one of the services."

Delighted with Queensland Transport's online service, the partner built an add-on application to tap into it. Suddenly, Queensland Transport faced a huge traffic spike and concerns about what the partner's add-on would do to its own infrastructure. Monitoring technology like WSDM is essential for the agency to keep track of activity and protect service levels, Higgins said.

To demonstrate WSDM's functionality and show off its own hosting capabilities, CA has launched a Web Services Performance Index, at The site reports results from its monitoring of a selection of publicly available Web services.

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