Iona Technologies is releasing a new tool for managing software services within SOA.

Artix Registry/Repository 1.0 acts as a catalogue that lists the software services available to developers in a company, including information about who can use the services and how they should be deployed, said Sean Baker, Iona co-founder and chief scientist.

Many of the big SOA vendors, including BEA Systems and IBM, offer repository tools already. Iona has partnered for its repository tool in the past but will now have a product of its own.

The tool is an addition to Iona's SOA Infrastructure Suite, which includes an Enterprise Service Bus for managing and routing software services. It is due for release 15 April, priced starting at US$45,000 for storing up to 10 services, Iona said.

Resistry/Repository supports multiple service-types including web services, CORBA services and others, Baker said. Companies should consider a registry if they have more than 30 to 40 technology services, or more than 10 complete business services, Baker said.

"The registry is a record of the services that exist," Baker said. "You have the basic information you need to search for services and avoid replicating the wheel. The repository adds richer information, like which applications are using which services, so you can learn about dependencies and find out, if you make a change, what will be the implications of that change."

Iona hopes to differentiate itself by also providing in its repository information about how services must be implemented and configured, something it claimed was unique to Artix.

"Because this is a distributed infrastructure, not all of the services will be implemented on top of [the same platform], so we provide a record of the implementation details, the configuration details," Baker said. That makes it easier to take a service and deploy it quickly on a different server, he said.

SOA refers to a type of software development in which applications are created by assembling independent, reusable software services. Repository tools are important because they store information about the services' policies, contracts and dependencies, said Ron Schmelzer, a senior analyst at ZapThink.