DataPower Takes On Web Services Security

XS40 appliance ensures viability of XML data

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A new company founded by a group of Massachusetts Institute of Technology graduates aims to be among the first vendors to tackle Web services security.

DataPower Technology, launched in 1999 and based here, last week unveiled the XS40 XML Security Gateway, an XML-processing appliance that sits next to a network IP firewall, said Kieran Taylor, director of product management at DataPower.

The XS40 provides secure processing of XML data to ensure that SOAP messages sent through a company's firewall have the correct digital signatures, information and data formats for viable processing, he said.

The gateway, which uses DataPower's patent-pending XG3 technology for XML processing, provides automated functions for encryption, content-level filtering, data validation and field-level security of XML messages, he said.

Route 1, a joint venture between automotive giants Toyota, General Motors, Daimler-Chrysler and Ford Motor, is already using the XS40 to validate loans in a Web services-based solution that links car dealerships with financing companies that provide loans to customers. That means car buyers can shop their loan applications around to multiple financing companies, Taylor said. "Using the XS40 makes sure the loans from the dealerships are secure."

DataPower's approach to solving Web services security is unique in that it is hardware-based, said Winston Damarillo, CEO of Los Angeles-based systems integrator GlueCode. "There are [competing] software-based products, but the combination of performance and security that DataPower brings on a self-contained device is unique," he said.

The XS40, which costs $65,000 and is available now, is an attractive product for solution providers because it is easy to deploy and supports standards such as security assertion markup language (SAML), XML access control language (XACL) and Java API for XML processing (JAX-P), Damarillo said.

"Mainstream trading-partner enablement of Web services is driven by those standards," Damarillo said. "By packaging it in a drop-in solution, [DataPower] makes it easy for people to adopt [standards] and makes for a product that is channel-friendly."

DataPower is aggressively signing up partners to resell its products, which also include the XA35 XML Accelerator,its flagship product,and a software-based XML acceleration technology called DGXT.

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