IBM today has rolled out a new set of Web Services Distributed Management (WSDM) development tools, designed to create a common management interface for disparate systems and management tools inside a service-oriented architecture.
Built on the Eclipse integrated development environment framework, the new software is available for a free download on IBM's AlphaWorks site. The WSDM development kit comes courtesy of IBM's autonomic computing wing, which seeks to create self-managing systems capable of supporting loosely coupled architectures, like SOA, while decreasing the complexity of running those systems.
"SOA's only going to be as successful as our ability to manage the infrastructure that supports SOA," said Dave Bartlett, IBM vice president for autonomic computing.
He noted that management has been an almost wholly proprietary field inside the software industry and that WSDM provides a unified event reporting format that can connect any type of endpoint and numerous proprietary management approaches.
"It's like having sheet music everyone can read new so they can all start playing the same tune," Bartlett said.
The WSDM 1.0 standard was ratified by OASIS in March and has been made into an open source implementation project by the Apache Software Foundation.
The AlphaWorks development tools include the IBM Autonomic Manageability Endpoint Builder and Endpoint Simulator. The builder tool allows developers to build WSDM interfaces for resources such as servers, applications and printers. The simulator tool creates a WSDM-based testing environment.
Also available is the IBM Autonomic Task Manager for Administrators, which offers a spreadsheet tool for composing management tasks. A plug-in allows the tool to communicate with WSDM-monitored resources.
Bartlett called standardization "critical" to reducing systems complexity and added that WSDM was the first standard being widely implemented by IBM's autonomic division.
"Without WSDM you're kind of moving forward in the dark," he said. "This is just a first step, but we believe it's fundamentally important to building better systems."
IBM already boasts 30 products that support the WSDM event format, including offerings from its Tivoli management line. Other vendors offering WSDM support include Hewlett-Packard Co., Cisco Systems Inc., Fujitsu Ltd., AmberPoint Inc., Hitachi Ltd., Computer Associates International Inc., Tibco Software Inc. and SOA Software Inc.