Application management could be easier. At least, that's what a group of vendors working together on a common format for applications propose. Application management could be easier. At least, that's what a group of vendors working together on a common format for applications propose.Ten application and traffic management companies have joined forces with research firm APM Advisors to develop a common structure for applications and the underlying services that define them from a technical perspective.The Business Policy Initiative will develop the common structure and, in theory, distribute it to application makers and other vendors for adoption. The structure would address a basic configuration and the distribution of service policies. The initial focus will be on the "application construct" that provides an association of the various resources and logical identifiers that support the delivery of an application, says R. Lynn Nye, president and founder of APM Advisors.The idea is to define what makes up an application so that management and optimization will be easier for IT managers."Right now, IT managers spend a lot of time trying to correlate what should be basically common information and isn't," Nye says. The construct could include software components, platforms, ports and URLs commonly used by applications and would provide a map all the way through the system, he adds.To date 10 companies have joined the group, which recently launched. Vendors joining the cause are Blue Coat Systems, Corente, NetPrecept, NetQoS, NetScout Systems, NetScaler, Network Physics, Redline Networks, TeaLeaf Technology and Vieo. Nye says he hopes to attract more to the cause. He'd like to see Compuware, Veritas, Micromuse, Opnet, Cisco and Juniper join the group and help them develop a common structure by spring 2005."Vendors will be able to offer better solutions, and they can tell potential customers, 'Yes my product works with that application in these defined ways,'" Nye says.