IBM has made its third SOA purchase, buying Webify Solutions. The acquisition should help IBM's ability to develop and deploy SOA in the healthcare and insurance industries, the prime focus of Webify's technologies.

Webify's product portfolio includes hundreds of pre-built, standards-based accelerators, tools and frameworks that can be used to resolve particular industry issues. IBM is integrating Webify's technology into its IBM Software Group under the WebSphere middleware brand. IBM Global Services (IGS) will also use Webify software in its SOA work with customers with the offerings complementing development already under way at IGS Solution Center in India around SOA-based composite business services.

Webify Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Manoj Saxena will continue to lead Webify at IBM. He'll take on an additional role, helping to define IBM's SOA strategy. Saxena will report to Robert LeBlanc, general manager of WebSphere at IBM.

Webify's 120-strong staff, based in the US and Mumbai, India, are joining IBM.

Last year, IBM made two SOA acquisitions, buying hardware appliance firm Datapower in October and portal technology and tools company Bowstreet in December. IBM and rival HP. have both stressed the importance of SOA to their businesses and are constantly trying to gain an advantage over each other in terms of the technologies they can offer to customers.