Latest Features of webMethods Application Modernization Suite Create an Economical Bridge to Future IT Capabilities

(PresseBox) ( Miami, Florida, )
- New functionality add productivity and make better use of existing system resources
- Development teams already "stretched thin" can work faster and smarter
- Mainframe COBOL and IMS shops can more easily SOA-enable essential functionality

Software AG, a global leader in business infrastructure software, today announced a new version of the webMethods Application Modernization Suite designed to help organizations create a stable and economical IT environment with a clear path to future capabilities. Both the Web Edition and SOA Edition of the Suite now incorporate new functionality to make users more productive and to squeeze additional business value out of existing assets such as "green screen" user interfaces and COBOL programs.

"Whatever issues customers were dealing with in the first part of 2008, they are now laserfocused on maintaining a steady course and staying competitive in the face of extraordinary economic uncertainty," said Joe Gentry, Software AG's CTO for Enterprise Transaction Systems. "The webMethods Application Modernization Suite addresses this challenge squarely by helping customers derive maximum value and achieve optimum cost savings from the assets they already own and depend on day-to-day. At the same time, customers will be laying the essential groundwork to support their inevitable move toward service and process-oriented architectures."

The ability to avoid unnecessary expenditures and make the best use of existing resources is critical in times of economic challenge and uncertainty. This is especially true in the area of business infrastructure software, because day-to-day cash flow depends on smooth IT operations, and many organizations have already done considerable cost-cutting and streamlining of IT during the past decade. Therefore the stakes are high and resources are stretched thin.

Software AG's webMethods Application Modernization Suite enables organizations to bridge the "resource gap" by getting more value out of what they already have. Specifically, upgrades to the Suite's Web Edition and SOA Edition allow organizations to better utilize mainframe assets, more fully integrate disparate development platforms, and take advantage of more efficient Web services protocols. New capabilities of the Suite's Web Edition and the SOA Edition include:

Unified Development Support, which helps specialist teams become generalist teams by allowing developers to move more easily between development platforms:

- For the SOA Edition, the new .NET plug-in for Microsoft Visual Studio 2008 provides a consistent environment for .NET developers using MS Visual Studio 2005 or 2008 that leads to productivity gains through support of new MS Visual Studio 2008 functionality;
- Also for the SOA Edition, additional support for bi-directional service wrapping allows legacy applications to consume .NET, J2EE or Web services transparently, as if they were local programs. In addition, intelligent wizards and assistants ensure rapid results to meet implementation deadlines and business user expectations;
- For the Web Edition, design-time development can now be done in a standard Eclipse framework, with wizards and assistants to facilitate quicker results.

Mainframe Integration Support, designed to leverage existing mainframe environments and facilitate a broad range of capabilities. Among the features now included in the SOA Edition:

- "Zero footprint" support for Information Management System (IMS) applications means that the SOA Edition has broader access to mainframe applications without requiring actual installation on a mainframe - enabling developer productivity gains within enterprises that have geographically or organizationally separated systems;
- Enhanced COBOL support means the SOA Edition can more quickly and efficiently bring mainframe COBOL applications into the world of SOA through functions such as more sophisticated mapping of COBOL program functions to a single Web service, better overviews of extracted data structures and more detailed error messages for faster resolution.

"Lightweight" Web Services standards, which place less strain on system resources. The following two standards are now supported by the Suite's SOA Edition:

- REST-ful Web services (implemented according to REST - Representational State Transfer - principles) are more "graceful" Web services implementations that boost developer productivity and decrease system overhead, leading to a more efficient use of human and machine resources;
- Reliable RPC (WS-ReliableMessaging standard) allows Web service developers to decouple systems and deliver service calls in a "fire-and-forget" but highly reliable manner.

With its just-announced support for more unified development, greater mainframe integration and lightweight Web services standards, Software AG's webMethods Application Modernization Suite helps organizations weather tough economic conditions through better utilization of existing IT assets.

The webMethods Application Modernization Suite provides a full range of capabilities for extending the value of enterprise systems. The product suite's Web Edition transforms greenscreen applications into browser-based interfaces; the SQL Edition provides real-time, SQL-based access to relational and non-relational data sources in order to streamline the flow of data between new and existing applications; and the SOA Edition exposes, orchestrates and governs critical functionality as standards-based services within a Service-oriented Architecture (SOA). The Discovery Edition jumpstarts application modernization projects by providing deep understanding of complex applications and preparing code for re-use in SOA and BPM initiatives. The webMethods Application Modernization Suite is available now with pricing and additional information available from an authorized Software AG representative.
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