Attachmate Moves SOA Strategy Forward with Veratream 6.5
March 13, 2007 Alex Woodie
As is the case in all mergers and acquisitions, the union of Attachmate and WRQ last year resulted in some product overlap. As a result, Attachmate had to make some tough decisions regarding its strategic product for composite application development and service oriented architectures (SOAs). Last month it started shipping Verastream Host Integrator version 6.5, a new release of the WRQ product that’s intended to help bridge the gap for users of Attachmate’s old Synapta product.
A decision was made to standardize Attachmate’s SOA strategy on Verastream, as opposed to the Synapta product that was distributed as part of various MyExtra product bundles, says Ron Grevink, director of integration strategy at Attachmate and the person in charge of the Verastream product. Attachmate will continue to support Synapta until 2008, and has programs to help customers move. There will be no more releases of Synapta.
“Early last year we decided to move forward with Verastream,” he says. “It does not mean the Synapta is not better, or worse. Both products have strengths. In Verastream 6.5 we included some functionality that was available in Synapta but not in Verastream. It bridges the gap between the product lines.”
One of the advantages Synapta held over Verastream was speedy, on-the-fly rejuvenation of green-screen interfaces into GUIs, Grevink says. “Synapta in general was easy to work with if you had to do a large number of screens,” he says. Veratream, in comparison, offered strengths in programmatic integration, which requires more skill and longer development cycles to rejuvenate a screen and rework the workflow, but typically yields higher-quality results.
With Verastream 6.5, users can now mix and match between fast on-the-fly GUI generation and programmatic integration for creating Web services as part of an SOA or composite application strategy. “As far as I know, there are no other companies that provide those two functionalities in a single product,” Grevink says.
Verastream 6.5 also inherits Synapta’s robust support for non-traditional character sets, such as the Turkish language character set. “The product is more international now,” Grevink says.
The new release brings several other notable enhancements that should benefit users, including support for 64-bit hardware. Both the Windows-based desktop development and the server runtime component, which runs on Windows, Linux, and Unix, support 64-bit hardware and operating systems for the first time. “It supports 64-bit platforms, which we think will be the standard by the end of 2007,” Grevink says.
AIX on the runtime component has been added to Verastream for the first time, providing a way for iSeries shops to keep the workload on their iSeries servers. However, the product still does not support an i5/OS runtime.
Encrypted host connections via SSL is another new addition with version 6.5. With prior releases, users had to rely on third-party tools to encrypt a connection between an iSeries or mainframe server with the Verastream server. That is now a standard offering with the new release.
Standard support for SSL will help with public companies that are wary about unsecured connections to their hosts, and running afoul of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act, Grevink says. It will also help with those looking toward executing on their SOA strategies.
People are beginning to see the real value of SOA, Grevink says. “Most organizations recognize their mainframes, iSeries, Unix hosts still offer tremendous value and they’re not going away any time soon. So rather than look at these as obstacles they use them as assets,” he says.
Verastream 6.5 is available now. Pricing starts at $55,000, which includes two development kit licenses, a license for a single server, and 20 concurrent-session licenses. For more information, visit www.attachmate.com.