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Say What?!? How Would You Select a SOA Management Tool?

Say What?!? How Would You Select a SOA Management Tool?

August 01, 2008 0 Comments

Admittedly I have a bit of ADD and get distracted easily. I love to read, but can't read poetry, or even classics, where I have to pay attention and remember the beginning of the sentence when I get to the end. It's why I studied math... I got to learn by doing, not by reading (pretty ironic, considering I don't actually do anything here at Progress!).

That said, can someone please read and translate Animesh's post for me?

He's got a great topic (even discounting the poor grammar), but I'm not sure what he's saying. So, I'm going to glam onto his topic selection with some of my own advice on tool selection. Here it is, ready???

To select the right SOA Management tool, figure out what you need the tool to accomplish, then DO A PROOF OF CONCEPT in your environment.

That's right. You heard me. I work for a vendor and I'm advocating a POC. Why would I do that? Two reasons...

  1. I no longer am responsible for doing POC's. Let's face it, they're hard work.
  2. I started my software career in 1995 at TIBCO, and in all this time, never once experienced what I experience here at Progress Actional. We finish POC's on-time, and things just work.

Let's really get under the covers. Why are POC's hard? Well, there is a lot of pressure because everyone's watching, and there are a lot of unknowns. I can't tell you how many times customers drew their environment on the board, but when we installed we found something different.

In fact, a funny one was at a company I can't name (but which carries the same name as an outspoken mayor of a large city that I know well), when they were using JBOSS and swore to us they were using the JBOSS SOAP stack. We go in, install Actional, can see traffic coming into JBOSS, but not out. We lost a day troubleshooting, looked at some log files, and sure enough, they were using the JBOSS stack only on the way in... they were using the AXIS SOAP stack on the way out. Hadn't configured it because they said they weren't using it! This is pretty typical, and in fact, one of the easy ones to track down.

SOA What?

In any case, long story short... it's much easier to sell without doing a POC, but it's not in your best interest to buy without doing one! Besides, without a POC, how are you going to validate a vendor's claims to functionality, performance, and scalability? How are you going to figure out if you're "missing anything" from your evaluation?

If you're interested, drop me a line or, better yet, leave a comment, and perhaps I'll write about some interesting things to add to your POC evaluation criteria.

david bressler

View all posts from david bressler on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.

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