WebMethods is buying SOA specialist Infravio for $38 million.

Infravio's service-oriented architecture registry and governance products enforce policies that determine how developers, IT staff and business users can use application and data services, from initial design through to deployment.

WebMethods said it will improve its SOA platform by integrating Infravio's tools, including content validation, service-level agreement management, security enforcement, and versioning and impact analysis.

Governance capabilities are vital to companies keen to grow their SOA deployments. According to Gartner, at least 65 percent of large organisations will have more than 35 percent of their application portfolios SOA-based by 2010, up from fewer than 5 percent in 2005. However, a lack of working governance mechanisms will be the most common reason for failure in mid-size to large post-pilot SOA projects, according to the research firm.

The Infravio deal is WebMethods' second acquisition in three weeks. Last month, it bought Cerebra for its metadata management capabilities.