Software AG updates cloud road map

The middleware vendor is preparing to deliver its own PaaS (platform as a service)

Software AG's WebMethods middleware and ARIS process modeling tools are now certified for deployment on Amazon's Elastic Compute Cloud and VMware, the company announced Tuesday as part of an update on its overall cloud strategy.

The company signaled its intentions for the products earlier this year, but it's just an initial step in a longer-term plan, said Matt Durham, senior vice president of business development.

Now work is ongoing to fully re-architect Software AG's products for the cloud, which is "a huge undertaking," Durham said. "It's going to take us a long time. In the meantime, this is a pragmatic step to take."

Customers can at least get the benefits of utility-like infrastructure through EC2, he said. In addition, while some customers were already using VMware, the certification should provide them with additional assurances, he said.

To use EC2, customers will have to contract separately with Amazon, while purchasing CPU licenses from Software AG, Durham said. Software AG's processor-license policy lines up with Amazon's virtual core model, he said. Customers will be able to move existing CPU licenses they have to Amazon, according to a spokeswoman.

Companies can use Amazon for development, test and production, but Software AG expects most activity to fall in the first two categories, he said.

Software AG's ultimate goal is to build out a full PaaS (platform as a service), according to Durham. It has some pieces in place already, with WebMethods serving as a Java application server and Terracotta providing an in-memory cache, he said. "We need a persistence layer," he said. "We could use any number of available options and we're looking at a lot of those."

The company's PaaS will also include an IDE (integrated development environment), with "a handful of logical options" currently under consideration, he said.

Software AG is also planning to develop a collaboration layer over its existing tools that will "allow virtual teams to work together regardless of their locations or interaction paradigms," the company said. Customers can also expect a new real-time communications platform that leverages Software AG's event-processing technologies, among others, the company said.

No release date was available for the new products, but they are a "big focus" in the next major release of WebMethods now under way, according to Durham.

To some degree, Software AG's plans mirror that of rival Tibco, which has released the Tibbr enterprise social-networking platform as well as Silver, for cloud application delivery.

Durham acknowledged the companies "tend to compete for similar customers and use cases" but declined to comment further.

Chris Kanaracus covers enterprise software and general technology breaking news for The IDG News Service. Chris's e-mail address is Chris_Kanaracus@idg.com

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