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Thursday, October 27, 2005

Oracle - SOA Models Are Frankenstein

ZapThink's Jason Bloomberg recently compared Oracle's Fusion Architecture to Frankenstein. Oracle has been working on building out their SOA offering for a while by assembling various parts from various different companies and Bloomberg raises the question –“ will it all work when they’re done”. Criticisms like SOA is the architecture that supports such approaches and therefore need not be criticized have been voiced. The view that oracle's approach itself is a Frankenstein warrants definite attention. The view that Oracle may not have a single strategy with SOA definitely warrants a full fledged response from Oracle. The prevailing opinion seems to be that oracle is cobbling together many disparate and unrelated technologies and then give it to their customers pretending that it's a single product. Joe McKendrick points out that perfectly good products ahould not be allowed to die and its incumbent upon vendors with multiple separate product lines to keep all those pieces current and aligned with changes in the market.

Earlier I wrote that there are now four code designs and schema to be harmonized. Different classes of cutomers and multiple varieties of implementations to be supported and upgraded. Customers need to be convinced of the integrated roadmap.The transition challenges are indeed phenomenal in the design of the new platform and less said the better about the migrations that customers need to spend on. Would this be a good opportunity for external service providers and oracle consulting – some may think that this may cause nightmare to service providers. Writing about the potential for SOA, I pointed out that SOA as an architecture of services is based on the premise that software components operate as modular components (building blocks) of a larger, immediately executing transaction (unit of work). Services are designed to perform reusable partial processes on behalf of a bigger transaction. SOA is attractive because it enables reuse of logic and data in multiple contexts. At a fundamental level, the radical shift to SOA calls for a different mindset – a dramatically different one at that. The adoption of SOA shall signify itself to be an important development in the IT world. Software will be described as a portfolio of capabilities and possibilities instead of modularized applications. Data models will be standard-based and externalized to enable interworking between services, and data will be considered to be like any other form of "digital content" ever ready for exchange and transformation between systems. I also higlighted the view The actual goal of SOA - isn’t interoperability; if that is all you want then sprinkle a few Web Service interfaces on your existing design and you will have opened up your application to all platforms - but you will not necessarily have benefited from SOA.

John Hagel’s gave a new perspective about SOA. Commenting on this perspective I wrote that lasting value for business shall come out of enabling entirely new sets of business models- those that can be configured on the fly,( for example integrating all eBay related operators in multiple ways),enabling lean,mean & efficient best in class processes with well designed performance measures,and also by enhancing the ability of the business enterprise in leveraging emerging technologies like grid computing,applistructures,powerful convergence technologies- many of the solutions today are aligned to delivering solutions in the conventional way but these may change.In future, businesses may be measured by how quickly their models of operationand processes can be configured and reconfigured, SOA architecture need to provide for this dynamic builds and rebuilds.For now though, SOA is a recognizable and mostly virtual plumbing exercise. Most likely, vendors will draw their strategy from the experience of customers, and will adjust accordingly. Not to overlook the fact that though the vendor community is trying hard to improve their SOA maturity,evolving standards and entrenched infrastructure mean more pilots and lab environments and more & more scope for innovations as adoption tends to improve

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"