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HP Buys-in Web Services Management Technology.

By Gavin Clarke

Hewlett Packard Co is acquiring web services management specialist Talking Blocks Inc so that it can deliver its Adaptive Enterprise strategy in concert with vendors' web services products.

The proposed acquisition unveiled yesterday, means HP is effectively ending its own planned Web Services Management Engine project, announced at BEA's eWorld conference in March.

HP has entered a definitive agreement to buy privately held Talking Blocks in an undisclosed cash transaction. Talking Blocks' eponymous product integrates and manages web services, and will help flesh-out HP's plan to use web services to manage enterprise systems.

Talking Blocks will be re-worked to generate and read interfaces built in the Web Services Management Framework, being partly driven by HP. Talking Blocks currently uses Java, Corba, .NET and XML adaptors to talk with different systems and the Web Services Management Framework will be added to this.

Al Smith, CTO for HP's web services management organization, said HP's Web Services Management Engine was still at the "lighthouse" stage, and the company hadn't figured out the "technology gateways."

Talking Blocks, meanwhile, has a large customer base and proven code base, Smith said. Talking Blocks, the company, was founded in 2000 and customers include General Dynamics and Verizon.

Smith said the driver behind acquisition was HP's desire to harness Talking Blocks' technology. An acquisition, he said would help speed to market elements of HP's Adaptive Enterprise strategy.

Time-to-market appears to be an important factor behind HP's decision to buy rather than build. The company believes systems management via web service interfaces will become more important during the next few months, as major enterprise software vendors launch updated products that make use of web services.

In pushing the Web Services Management Framework HP believes it can use a series of XML interfaces to search, retrieve and manage systems and application management data, adding new life to the OpenView systems management framework.
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Title Annotation:Talking Blocks Inc. being acquired
Author:Clarke, Gavin
Publication:Computergram International
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Sep 4, 2003
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