Sunday, May 19, 2013

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Offerings, Comparison and Evaluation

SOA suites available in market are like any other COTS products-one size does NOT fit all. To avoid a 'square peg in a round hole' situation it is very important for the solution and enterprise architects to make sure that the chosen SOA stack meets the current needs, the future vision and helps align IT with the overall business road-map.

Publication SOA Stack Comparison, first published for/by ServiceTechMag, does a deep dive analysis and comparison of the major and most competitive proprietary SOA Stacks in the market today. 

Excerpts from the publication - 
"... It is very important for all prospective SOA adopters to know that SOA is not a turn-key project. In fact, SOA is a discipline, a long-term commitment of collaboration between business and IT and an attitude overall. There are multiple technology suites, both proprietary and open source, available on the market that facilitate SOA journey and help organizations achieve overall IT maturity-however, a well-versed team of solution and enterprise architects is required to find the solution that best meets the enterprise vision and requirements....."

...While evaluating a stack, one must also consider the out-of-the-box support for messaging, transport protocols and different document types that are supported by the chosen SOA stack.

As I mentioned in the beginning of the article, SOA and cloud are both complementary enterprise solutions and incidentally have been strategically promoted by both Oracle and IBM. One must also carefully evaluate the support for cloud and mobile applications when considering a SOA stack. The support for multiple cloud deployment topologies is very critical for middleware platforms for enterprises of the future. Oracle and IBM both have a very strong presence in cloud, and it was a rather seamless movement for both to take SOA on cloud. SAG, on the other hand, started its journey for mobile just a couple of years back, and forayed into SOA on cloud with its 8.x release of wM.

Code version management is another pivotal area that every business-driven EA team needs to keep in mind when deciding on integration suite. The SOA centric code management tool could go a long way for an enterprise in terms of lower TCO and higher ROI. I have used CVS and IBM ClearCase for Oracle SOA Suite, both source code and config files. I personally feel that SAG webMethods has the weakest code management support within its stack, probably because code is saved primarily as config files. CrossVista does provide the wM users with a ray of hope with code and release management..."

I personally believe that one could add so much more to this comparison matrix, but that's very subjective and I would recommend the prospective buyer to use this article as a guide to do complete due diligence with prototype and modeling before investing into any MW solution.