RESEARCH TRIANGLE PARK — When asked how he and his co-founders settled on the name for their new web services venture, Richard Holcomb had a quick response.

“Strike while the iron is hot,” the serial entrepreneur said with a smile.

Living up to that name, StrikeIron disclosed its first product for use in the rapidly growing web services industry on Thursday.

The StrikeIronT Web Services Analyzer, a software product developed to provide fast analysis and understanding of web service offerings, was introduced in a free beat version on Thursday.

“The StrikeIron Web Services Analyzer is a breakthrough in offering practical, easy-to-use solutions for discovering and utilizing web services,” said Holcomb, StrikeIron’s chairman and chief executive officer and a founder of HAHT Software ventures among others in RTP. “The StrikeIron Web Services Analyzer is the first in a suite of StrikeIron products that will make Web services the first choice of development shops and business users who are implementing service-oriented architectures or integrating web services with traditional data-driven applications such as business intelligence, (customer relationship management) and data warehousing.”

StrikeIron is making the beta version available free of charge to developers and analysts who agree to provide feedback to StrikeIron or to explore its uses.

“We expect to receive an incredible amount of useful feedback from our first release, since this is such an exciting area of information technology right now,” said Bob Brauer, vice president of business development. “That’s the beauty of opening up the test audience to the World Wide Web.”

According to StrikeIron, its products will help programmers and analysts to find and then better understand web services already in use. The Analyzer locates and then generates graphically the data requirements for each web service and helps developers understand its functionality and applicability to each developer’s needs.

StrikeIron is working to develop what it calls a web services business object layer that will enable developers to incorporate multiple web service applications for use with business applications from Microsoft, SAP and PeopleSoft.

StrikeIron was launched this spring and already has received some funding from The Aurora Funds, where Holcomb recently became a venture partner.

Engage to sell its assets

Engage, the former parent of Accipiter in Raleigh which announced plans to enter bankruptcy, has agreed to sell most of its assets to Scene7, Inc. for some $1.2 million in cash and assuming liabilities up to $850,000. Accipiter employees bought the company and its technology back from Engage last November.