Feeds

Is SOA getting boring?

Politics takes over from technology

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

That hits on another point, which is IBM’s contention that it is best situated to glue everything together. Mills contended that SOA brings pressure on the SAPs and Oracles of the world to open their APIs using Service Component Architecture and Service Data Objects. Obliquely, it points to new competition for where new functionality gets situated: inside the application stack, or at the BPM or service composition layer in the middle. Mills denies that there’s a power struggle going on. In his words, the question of who wins or loses when you add SOA to the mix is “one of those silly debates… we’re not saying what we do is more important than what SAP does.”

Well, maybe it’s silly, but IBM has plenty of accounts where there’s a lot of SAP and Oracle, so there’s going to be competition for that middle tier.

But what about the other half of the enterprise market that uses homegrown rather than packaged apps? Later that day, we sat in on another session to explore how IBM is building a composite apps business for that segment (more specifically, for banking, insurance, telco, and healthcare sectors). This was a follow up to a session we caught a year ago, just as ink had dried on IBM’s Webify acquisition that brought the underlying technology for building vertical industry SOA frameworks.

Balance of power questions abounded there as well, although IBM is taking pains not to call these composite applications, but composite solutions. The inference is that solutions are supersets of applications, and thanks to SOA, far more dynamic.

With that assumption, IBM is still playing linchpin - they own the underlying framework, and reprising the role performed by its global business services groups, IBM also plays arbiter in recommending solutions. This year, it introduced tooling that allows customers to add their own framework extensions, or get IBM to integrate third parties currently not on their preferred partner list. Three partners - Kana for contact management, Seec for insurance business components, and Chordiant for “customer experience solutions" - testified that of course it’s a two-way partnership (they’re also veteran IBM business partners).

But IBM is clearly first among equals, as the framework is its own, is responsible for level one support, and therefore, is positioned to assert account control. But realizing that the technology has surged ahead of the business model, IBM and partners are still shaping the rules of engagement for composites as they go along.

From a technology standpoint, SOA might be getting a lot more boring. However, impacts to vendor business relationships are for now anything but.

This article originally appeared in onStrategies.

Copyright © 2008, onStrategies.com

Tony Baer is the principal with analyst onStrategies. With 15 years in enterprise systems and manufacturing, Tony specialises in application development, data warehousing and business applications, and is the author of several books on Java and .NET.

Boost IT visibility and business value

More from The Register

next story
Why has the web gone to hell? Market chaos and HUMAN NATURE
Tim Berners-Lee isn't happy, but we should be
Microsoft boots 1,500 dodgy apps from the Windows Store
DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! DEVELOPERS! Naughty, misleading developers!
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
'Stop dissing Google or quit': OK, I quit, says Code Club co-founder
And now a message from our sponsors: 'STFU or else'
Apple promises to lift Curse of the Drained iPhone 5 Battery
Have you tried turning it off and...? Never mind, here's a replacement
Uber, Lyft and cutting corners: The true face of the Sharing Economy
Casual labour and tired ideas = not really web-tastic
Linux turns 23 and Linus Torvalds celebrates as only he can
No, not with swearing, but by controlling the release cycle
prev story

Whitepapers

Top 10 endpoint backup mistakes
Avoid the ten endpoint backup mistakes to ensure that your critical corporate data is protected and end user productivity is improved.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Backing up distributed data
Eliminating the redundant use of bandwidth and storage capacity and application consolidation in the modern data center.
The essential guide to IT transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIOs automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.