Xignite Unveils Web Service Mashup Platform
Xignite is offering subscribers an on-demand service that lets users create custom business applications via a Web services mashup platform. The platform, called Xignite Splice, enables composite Web services applications to be built using a visual development environment.
Xignite is a provider of Web services for financial and other industries and currently offers 50 core standard Web services to its subscribers. The Xignite Splice platform works on top of that, providing a building block that can "mash together multiple Web services into a more advanced piece of functionality," according to Stephane Dubois, Xignite's CEO.
Developers use a designer called Splice Studio to create composite Web services.
"It looks similar to what you'd use in [Yahoo] Pipes," Dubois said. "It's somewhat like an application builder, but in our case, we create a SOAP-enable Web service that has a WSDL as well. We actually generate code for scalability purposes. To ensure the scalability of the solutions that we build, we take a code-generation approach -- i.e., compiled."
It might be tougher for developers to use a composite application tool to do the same sort of thing, according to Dubois.
"You could mash things in Serena, JackBe and Pipes, but sometimes it might not be the ideal place to do it," he said. "It might be too complicated to do it there. In that case, it's better to do it on the service side, which is where Splice is."
Splice offers an alternative among such platforms, he added.
"Splice fills one spot in that big ecosystem -- which is the ability to create a composite Web service on an on-demand platform, which can then be used and consumed by on-demand applications," Dubois said.
The San Mateo, Calif.-based company has also established a community to provide common solutions for its customers and let developers get involved in delivering custom solutions.
"The Splice Web site is a place where you register, but we have a database of a lot of different Web services, as well as a composite Web services that have been created with Splice that we call Splices," Dubois explained. "We also include some third-party Web services on the platform."
Third-party Web services have to be "robust" and "commercial strength" to be included, he added.
Xignite currently has about 350 customers around the world and serves 600 million requests per month with its Web services, providing "three 9's availability," Dubois said. Splice is initially being offered just to Xignite's clients, and the company plans to open it up to any developer who wants build on top of the platform.
Pricing to use Splice will be a percentage on top of existing services, which Dubois estimated at 20 percent to 30 percent on top of the monthly subscription rate.
Xignite's solution is hosted, meaning that it's transmitted over the Internet, and Dubois doesn't see any limitation with that idea.
"Sometimes people will say that 'My data is so critical that I'm not going to expose this to the world'," he said. "That's what people used to say when Salesforce.com came around. With times, things change. I think people will be more comfortable with it and will say, 'Why should I put a half a million-dollar piece of software in the house to do this stuff when I can do it on demand?'"