Friday, January 30, 2009

The Two Sides of SOA ... take a look at the flip side

A lot of folks still think SAP is falling behind in the SOA space, especially after reading media that paint a limited view. For example, Informationweek online in Germany recently only referenced one Gartner Report, in which SAP was shown as lagging behind IBM, Oracle and Microsoft.

»Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for New Systematic SOA Application Projects«.

In this study, SAP only falls into the "niche" quadrant, which lead to a lot of commentary in the past several weeks.

However, if you look more carefully, you'll see that this report only refers to situations where companies are building up their SOA infrastructure "from scratch". Honestly, this is neither the area SAP is targetting, nor does it sound like a good idea to proceed with this course of action when you have an existing application landscape in place that is already SOA-enabled.

This is where SAP is focused. Delivering a SOA-enabled set of end to end industry processes, that can act as your business process platform, to allow rapid development of composite applications. In this space, the situation is quite different, according to this report, also from Gartner.
»Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for SOA Composite Application Projects«.

SOA has two sides, and this year the difference will become more clear.
- The "build from scratch side". (Have fun programming business logic)
- The "leverage a SOA-enabled application platform for rapid composition side"

The choice should be easy to make based on your requirements. But I think we also still have a steep hill to climb to explain this story to all of our customers, especially since it the SOA-hype has subsided and there is very little "innovation buzz" around concepts like "use what you have".

These days, however, my reaction would be "Sounds good to me" ...

What do you think?

1 comment:

  1. The future of IT is a world where the technology is able to move at the speed of business. An old catchphrase, done to death, but very relevant. IT as an enabler -- not a limiting factor to the business. Currently, we identify business needs and then ask IT, "Can you fix it?". The future of IT based on an SOA approach will be a resounding "Yes we can...and FAST!". By the time that is reality, no-one will be talking about SOA, it will be as integrated and natural as object orientation in programming.