LANSA Partners with IONA Technologies for SOA Enablement on System i
November 6, 2006 Timothy Prickett Morgan
LANSA, a tool vendor with expertise in rapid application development and i5/OS and OS/400 legacy application modernization, and IONA Technologies, which has positioned itself in the center of the services oriented architecture (SOA) arena with its Artix implementation of the Enterprise Service Bus idea, last week announced that they have partnered to help make SOA-style application modernization easier for System i shops that are coping with distributed application architectures.
IONA is based in Dublin, Ireland, and has been focusing on object-oriented programming and then Web services for the past decade. The company’s Orbix product implements the CORBA object broker standard that back-ended a lot of OOP applications that ran in a distributed fashion over networks. The Enterprise Service Bus is a kicker to the CORBA object broker idea, and it is intended to be a standard means by which applications written in Java or .NET can interoperate and thereby implement an SOA. There are more than a dozen programs that create an ESB, and for a more detailed explanation of just what this ethereal program is, the Wikipedia entry for ESB is a good place to start.
“Thousands of companies in Europe still run their core applications on IBM midrange systems, but many are operating in heterogeneous environments alongside mainframe, Unix, Linux, and Windows servers,” explained Martin Fincham, general manager of LANSA’s EMEA operations in conjunction with the IONA partnership announcement. “An ESB provides a standards-based platform for reducing the cost and complexity of integrating these disparate systems. LANSA Integrator provides the connectivity between iSeries programs (3GL or 4GL), DB2 databases, and the Artix ESB such that any legacy application can readily attach to the bus to communicate in real-time with other systems.”
That was a pretty good explanation, which is rare in an announcement–particularly one concerning complex software that has the job of masking complexity.
In a separate announcement, IONA reported its financial results for the third quarter ended September 30, and said that its sales came in at $20.3 million, up 17 percent from the prior year’s third quarter. But stock-based compensation hammered the company’s profits down to $500,000 after taking out $1.3 million in stock that went to employees and officers. Notably, sales of the Artix ESB product grew by 114 percent in the quarter. IONA is projecting that sales will be in the range of $20 million to $22 million in the fourth quarter, and that total expenses should be in the range of $19 million to $20 million. This should mean that it will be profitable, which is always a good thing for a company that is traded on the Nasdaq.