IBM plans to roll out four products Monday under its WebSphere middleware stack, designed to help users more easily begin building a service-oriented architecture (SOA).

These new products - and a slew of new services - are aimed at helping companies overcome the problems associated with launching an SOA, while avoiding additional costs and ensuring that SOA investments will withstand changes within the business, according to a company statement.

WebSphere Portal 6.0 will integrate IBM Workplace and collaborative technologies to make it easier for users to build composite applications that can be tailored by industry, role or task. The latest version also provides a workflow builder with a process engine to simplify the integration of business processes.

IBM’s WebSphere Business Monitor 6.0 will include business alerts, reports that combine real-time performance and historical analysis, and scorecards to track the status and metrics of projects.

The new version of its application server, WebSphere Application Server 6.1, will add features designed to reduce the complexity of an SOA as it is expanded to include applications like voice, video and instant messaging communications. It also will have new security features, including default security configurations and a default user registry for identity management. WebSphere Application Server 6.1 also meets the federal government’s Common Criteria Assurance Level 4 certification for authentication and user data protection, according to IBM.

Finally, IBM plans to detail WebSphere Commerce 6.0, which it said will provide users with a consistent view of customers across all sales channels.

In addition, IBM is expected to announce plans to add services geared toward each stage of the life cycle of an SOA, according to the statement.