The IT industry has big expectations of web services, a programming model that will offer application functions as a set of services available over the Internet. So too does Systinet.
Headquartered in Boston, Massachusetts, the company was founded in Prague, Czechoslovakia by the people behind NetBeans, a developer of a Java-based integrated development environment (IDE) for Linux, which was bought by Sun Microsystems in late 1999.
Systinet's software enables developers to create applications based on web services standards and to integrate discrete applications and databases using a 'service-oriented' or business process-level approach. Its main product, the WASP (web applications and services platform) Server, also offers capabilities such as transaction support and security features.
Web services is in its infancy, and companies are only just beginning to test the waters with small projects. Systinet is, therefore, trying to gain traction with those customers by offering a free 'lite' version of WASP to company's carrying out web services trials, and is only charging for actual production deployments. The company has "in the range of dozens" of paying customers, says Wendell Lansford, Systinet's president, including "one of the world's largest telecoms equipment manufacturers and one of the largest telcos". But, he adds, there are "thousands and thousands of developers" now using WASP.
If Systinet is to have much of an impact on the web services market, however, it knows that it has to forge strong partnerships with global systems integrators and technology vendors. To that end, WASP has already been integrated with both Sun's Forte and NetBeans IDEs, and Systinet is also working on integration with Borland's Jbuilder and with IBM's Eclipse platform.
To further aid its expansion, the company is in the process of closing a first round of funding of between $5 million and $8 million to add to the $2.3 million it raised in seed funding. Still, if Systinet's founders want their company to be come a giant in web services, their best route might be to sell out to one of the giants, such as IBM, Sun or Microsoft, once more.