Well, if you track our "space," you'd have seen that Forum has been awarded a patent on XML security appliances. Apparently, it's patent number 7,516,333.
As it turns out, Actional has a patent in the area of web service security too - Patent 7,480,799.
It seems that Forum's patent focuses on appliance devices (hardware) that incorporates acceleration, though doesn't limit itself to web services.
To help compare the difference between the two patents, you might look at the top level claims.
Forum's states that their patent is...
Whereas our patent is...
I want to congratulate Forum for being second to the patent game here... ours just beat theirs, being approved January 20th, 2009.
Of course, we're not new to the patent game. We've got a few around our unique runtime governance technology as well... it's why our competitors are constantly saying, "you know who you do business with" or "you don't want to have all that information in your display, it's too confusing." The method we use to discover services in a network is unique and they can't do it (while running in production all the time, on any protocol, and not affecting performance).
In case the two summaries above aren't enough to put you to sleep on the spot (I've found myself dozing off as I write this myself), below are links to the others. I believe there are also a patent or two pending on the Actional Team Server / Actional Diagnostic technology too.
Patent 5,732,270 (1998)Patent 6,349,343 (2002)Patent 7,330,889 (2008)
This last one is the real interesting stuff relative to Actional. The title is "Network Interaction Analysis Arrangement", and relates to the way we (and our partner Software AG) compete successfully against solutions from HP, SOA Software, and Amberpoint.
In a network through which service providing nodes are interconnected, one
or more software elements at each service providing node process the
network operations. A client interceptor coupled in an examine node to a
selected software element intercepts transmissions from the software
element to record transmission flow control information. A server
interceptor coupled in the examine mode to the selected software element
intercepts transmissions to the software element to record transmission
flow control information. An administrative node of the network examines
the transmission flow control information from the selected software
elements to assess network operation.
And the top-level claim:
A computer network interconnecting a plurality of service providing
nodes each including software elements for performing computer network
tasks and an administrative node
for monitoring the computer network tasks, at least one of the service
providing nodes comprising: a plurality of software elements in an
application layer of the service providing node for coupling to other
software elements in the same application
layer and in the application layers of other service providing nodes of
the network to process operations of the network; an interceptor unit
for each software element of the at least one service providing node,
the interceptor unit being coupled to its
software element in response to selection of the software element by
the administrative node for intercepting transmissions in the
application layer from the selected software element to other software
elements in the same and different service providing
nodes and for intercepting transmissions in the application layer to
the selected software element from other software elements in the same
and different service providing nodes wherein said interceptor unit
further forms a record of information
pertaining to the transmissions at the selected software element and
each record of transmission pertaining information further comprises a
chain correlation identifier to identify an operation of a selected
software element in its performance of a
network task and an interaction correlation identifier to identify an
interaction of a selected software element with another software
element; and a transfer unit responsive to a transfer command from the
administrative node to the selected software
element for transferring the record pertaining to transmission
pertaining information from the interceptor unit to the administrative
node, in order to monitor operations of network tasks.
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