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Stop picking on Microsoft!

Stop picking on Microsoft!

September 13, 2007 0 Comments

Or rather, pick on them, but save some energy for others committing the same SOA infrastructure crimes.

A lot of commotion around Microsoft "missing the SOA boat" in the blogosphere over the last couple of days. I find it interesting on a number of levels.

Why only pick on Microsoft? Are they the only ones who commandeer "the market" to their own advantage? Why isn't anyone beating up Oracle or SAP? TIBCO or IBM or BEA? I think they're all "just taking advantage of their captive market to convince them that SOA is all about [their own] platforms and not about architectural advantage" as Dave Rosenberg over at MuleSource says about Microsoft.

Listen to any of those vendors, and SOA is about integrating within their platform. Sure, they'll all expose "services" for external consumption, but as soon as you choose a technology that's not a part of their stack, you are stuck with a "lowest common denominator of functionality" based upon standards-based interoperability. I mean, try using TIBCO BusinessWorks over an IBM WebSphere infrastructure! Or BEA AquaLogic in a .NET development shop. Of course, all these platforms "support the WS-* family of standards, standards that provide for interoperability, though what we're really looking for is integration. But, I digress on a tangent best left for another time lest I be accused of being "anti-standards."

SOA what if Microsoft is trying to commandeer SOA? SOA what if they got it wrong? (Or right?)

The point is, most customers build up a portfolio of technology upon which they execute their business strategies. SOA is meant, in part and in my opinion:

  • To better tie a customer's IT technology portfolio to their business strategies by allowing more rapid deployment of IT assets that align closely with business strategies;
  • To provide more accountability/governance over IT assets; and
  • To improve the lifecycle management of IT assets in the portfolio.

Vendors need to start thinking about their solutions and product offerings in that same context. Think of the various products as a portfolio, rather than as a stack. Hopefully, speaking as a vendor, I'll convince you to use all my bits. But, if I don't, SOA principles will enable my customers to enhance their portfolio by using products from others where they believe those products suit them better.

And, of course, Actional will provide automatic end-to-end SOA visibility, policy-based control, and security across all those platforms and protocols regardless of whether they are from any, or all, of the vendors listed above.

david bressler

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