Tuesday, March 10, 2009

SOA Done Right Is Alive and Kicking

When an analyst at the Burton Group titled her blog post "SOA Is Dead; Long Live Services," it touched a nerve in the industry. Some agreed that the acronym SOA (for service-oriented architecture) had come to mean too many things to too many people and was no longer useful.
Oracle's own Dave Chappell had some fun with the controversy and then provided a thoughtful summary. His experience leads him to doubt the original post's negative outlook:
"... based on my travel schedule over the past several months, which has been about 90% of my time going to meet with customers who are actively engaged in funded SOA projects, I would say the architecture-until-recently-known as SOA is still-alive-and-well."
But the fact remains that implementing a SOA solution isn't easy. It requires architects and developers to think in new ways, and to find the right tools and governance solutions to succeed.

Thousands of Customers, Spectacular Results
Maneesh Joshi, senior manager for SOA marketing, offers another Oracle perspective. "Many in the industry seem to have lost sight of the core value proposition of SOA," says Joshi. "SOA is not a single technology or product offering; it is a recent paradigm for building business applications. SOA is an architectural approach that yields tremendous benefits when it's done right. We have thousands of customers running Oracle SOA-based applications, and they have seen spectacular results (video)."

According to Joshi, several key factors have led to Oracle's success when others have failed. "Our track record has much to do with Oracle's preintegrated and comprehensive offering, our commitment to industry standards, and our expertise with SOA governance," says Joshi. "But most important is our attitude toward each customer: Oracle understands that each customer's business problem is unique, requiring a unique solution made possible only by Oracle's flexible SOA platform. Oracle does not leave it to the acronym 'SOA' to automatically solve these complex problems."

Start Off Right
Customers can start down the path towards a successful SOA initiative today by taking a free SOA online assessment. "Participants get a personalized report that tells them where they are with respect to their vision for SOA, and where they stand with respect to their peers," says Joshi. "The survey also provides them with concrete recommendations to optimize their SOA."

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