Way back in 2002, I wrote about Datapower's XA35 XML Accelerator appliance (see links below). Just over a year ago, the company launched its XS40 XML Security Gateway, which is now recognized as one of the best products in its class.(Digression: How about that? A short product name without mixed cases - it is so much easier to write about products that have simple names. Vendors take note.)The XS40 is a diskless XML firewall appliance designed for "wirespeed performance" (that is to say, the company claims it introduces no latency for valid data packets). Since its release in January 2003, the XS40 has matured and now is not only an XML firewall, it also provides:* Protection against XDoS (XML denial-of-service attacks).* Simple object application protocol filtering.* Access control.* Schema validation.* Digital signatures.* Field-level encryption of XML content.* WS-Security, SAML, XACML, XKMS, and LDAP support.* RADIUS compliance.* XML\/SOAP routing.* Secure Sockets Layer acceleration, service virtualization, and centralized policy management.In short, this is a one-stop XML security solution. What an awesome array of features.Where this device will really become invaluable is Web services deployment. Unless you plan to use an all-or-nothing approach, you can't lock down access to specific service functions without a device like this and the authentication and encryption services will become de rigueur in many regulated industries.Pricing starts at $65,000.