When services pass from one service environment to another, the underlying execution environment often manages the process state, explained ZapThink managing partner Jason Bloomberg.
“If you are relying on an execution environment to keep process state, that’s not really a service-oriented approach,” he added. “Abstracting that out makes services more independent. That can be done with traditional ESBs [Enterprise Service Bus], but it requires more work for the architect to know which resource to enable,” he said.
The Fiorano platform differs from other ESBs because it is message-driven and supports actions among services differently than traditional ESBs, Bloomberg said.
“Fiorano treats messages between services as events,” Bloomberg explained, whereas most ESBs use a Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) engine to coordinate services, he added. That architecture creates the problem that Fiorano is attempting to solve.Read more at: SD Times
“The real question is, how can an ESB help with a SOA implementation plan, which is the challenge a lot of enterprises face,” said Jason Bloomberg, a senior analyst at ZapThink LLC in Waltham, Mass. “Companies need to think through a plan, identify the business problem, figure out how to build services, then figure out the infrastructure. They may or may not need an ESB.”
As the larger vendors have added ESB capabilities to their offerings, the pureplays have broadened their capabilities as well. “Look at Sonic Software,” said Bloomberg. “They’re still leading with their ESB product, but Progress Software [Sonic's corporate parent] has reorganized. It’s significant that Progress has realized SOA is more than ESB. They have the Neon legacy integration, they have XML tooling. SOA requires a lot of different pieces. Sonic’s leading standalone ESB product is really not standalone anymore. Companies want a more comprehensive solution.”
According to ZapThink’s Bloomberg, “A key part of the SOA infrastructure has to do with the intermediary capability for loose coupling of services. If your existing middleware can’t do that, bring in some intermediary. If you have the need for additional integration infrastructure, get an ESB. If you already have that infrastructure you can use an intermediary, like SOA Software’s Network Director. The question is, do I need messaging infrastructure in addition to intermediary capabilities?”
“What we’re seeing from ESB vendors as well as consultants building SOA solutions, is that the bloom is off the ESB rose,” said Bloomberg. “Clearly the role of ESB is no longer thought of as a key piece of SOA infrastructure, but rather one piece of many moving parts to get SOA to work.”Read more at: SearchWebServices
BALTIMORE, Md.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Sept. 6, 2006–ZapThink released a report today showing that few enterprises are specifically budgeting for or requesting Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) by name. Instead, business buyers budget for specific solutions to their business problems, and more consulting firms than ever before leverage Service Orientation best practices to provide those solutions. The main buyer of such initiatives has shifted toward the non-technical, business part of the enterprise.
“The clear pattern with today’s SOA projects is that they are increasingly business-focused,” said Jason Bloomberg, Senior Analyst with ZapThink. “Many consulting firms are integrating SOA best practices into a broad differentiated offering that is not necessarily specific to SOA.”
ZapThink expects the percentage of IT projects overall that leverage Service Orientation best practices to continue to grow over time, and those best practices will soon become ubiquitous. ZapThink also expects the percentage of IT projects that are named, SOA-specific projects to peak in 2007, with Service Orientation best practices increasingly subsumed within the expected, routine part of IT projects more broadly after that date.
Key findings of the report include:
The report, available on ZapThink’s Web site at www.zapthink.com, features several firms offering SOA consulting services, including Accenture (NYSE: ACN – News), AgilePath, Alphacourt, Anexinet, Arc Aspicio, Avanade, BEA Systems (NASDAQ: BEAS – News), BearingPoint (NYSE: BE – News), Bouvet, CapGemini (Paris), CherryRoad Technologies, City Practitioners, D. Callingham & Assoc., Daugherty Business Solutions, Definition 6, e-Brilliance, eSigma, gen-i, Geniant, Hitachi Consulting (NYSE: HIT – News), HP (NYSE: HPQ – News), IBM Global Services (NYSE: IBM – News), Infosys (NASDAQ: INFY – News), innoQ, IPT, Kanbay (NASDAQ: KBAY – News), Keane (NYSE: KEA – News), Lydian Technology, MITRE, Modhelus, Momentum SI, MphasiS, MW2 Consulting, Network Effects, Online Business Systems, PricewaterhouseCoopers, ProSolveIT, Satyam (NYSE: SAY – News), Schumacher Partners, Semantic Arts, SentientPoint, SilverTrain, SOA Software, SOA Systems, Software AG (Frankfurt), SRL Group, Statera, Summa Technologies, Synergy International, Systemiclogic, TasmanAve, TeamSOA, Tier1 Innovation, Voyant Group, Wipro (NYSE: WIT – News), WM-Data (Stockholm), and XWebServices. The report also mentions the following vendors: AmberPoint, Composite Software, Fiorano, Forum Systems, Infravio, LogicLibrary, Mercury (OTC: MERQ – News), Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT – News), Mindreef, Oracle (NASDAQ: ORCL – News), Reactivity, RedHat (NASDAQ: RHAT – News), SAP (NYSE: SAP – News), Sun Microsystems (NASDAQ: SUNW – News), WSO2, and WebLayers.Read more at: ZapThink Press Release
As the practice of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) matures, professional services firms that offer SOA-related services continue to lead the market in the creation and application of best practices for SOA. For this report, ZapThink surveyed 58 consulting firms who identified themselves as offering SOA consulting services in order to assemble a detailed, global picture of the state of the market for SOA consulting worldwide. ZapThink found a substantial maturation of SOA consulting offerings across the board, with an increased focus on the business value that SOA can provide. While there still remains some confusion over the nature and applicability of SOA, methodologies, engagements, and understanding of the SOA value proposition have all dramatically improved in the last few years to the point that SOA best practices are increasingly being taken for granted as the standard approaches for solving a broad range of business problems in organizations around the world.
“Any vendor who wants to have a credible SOA solution in order to build loosely coupled, composite, service-oriented applications will necessarily have to have a business process aspect to their product,” said Ron Schmelzer, a senior analyst at ZapThink LLC. “IBM, Oracle and Microsoft already have this capability as well as vendors like Sonic Systems, Fiorano and SOA Software. Even emerging composite application vendors like SEEC Systems, Webify Solutions, Tenfold and others are adding BPM capabilities to their SOA infrastructure. Vendors need to have process capabilities if they plan to have a credible solution in the space.”Read more at: SearchWebServices
The ZapThink guys have it right that this is only the second inning (given the weather, it can’t be too soon for baseball metaphors) of a nine-inning outing of SOA components and supplier consolidation.Read more at: ZDnet
In fact, ZapThink analyst Ron Schmelzer believes the SOA product development rate has become so intense that IT shops run high risks if they don’t get on board.
“If you’re not doing SOA, you’re in serious danger,” he said. “Every sizable software vendor has stated its future roadmap is going to be SOA related. If you don’t adopt SOA, you could be cutting yourself off and not be able to upgrade your current applications.”
“All of these companies are piling into this real weird bandwagon,” Schmelzer said. “ESB is a problematic term that was sickly in 2005 and I think it’s going to die in 2006.”Read more at: Search400.com
ZapThink LLC analyst Ron Schmelzer said the ESB market never attracted a lot of money in the first place and now that IBM, BEA and open source ESBs are entering the space, it leaves even fewer pickings for the companies that built the category. He added that ESBs seem to have lost some cache as IT shops grapple with the larger issues of building to a service-oriented design.
“The ESB term has turned out to be a real quagmire,” Schmelzer said. “It’s somewhat, but not really related to SOA. The real challenge of SOA is not that you need more messaging. Where customers really need help is in managing all the meta data around the services they’re creating.”
Meanwhile, Schmelzer argued that the change needs to happen rapidly.
“Vendors have to prove that they’re relevant to service-oriented architecture,” he said. “It can’t just be the same old stuff you’ve been selling for years in a repackaged form. What’s different about your product in the last six revolutions that’s different than it was for Web tier?”Read more at: SearchWebServices
“More companies are understanding the big picture. Ask them if they know what an SOA is, they’ll say ‘yes.’ Ask them if they understand the business value proposition, they’ll say ‘yes’ and talk about reuse and other concepts,” said Jason Bloomberg, analyst with ZapThink LLC. “If you ask them who is on the SOA team, or what’s their schedule for SOA, that’s a different question.
“They want to know how to build the right services, how to deal with semantics and data consistency, and how to assemble the right team,” Bloomberg said.
A flexible IT architecture is the holy grail, Bloomberg said, and any kind of confusion hampers adoption.
“The root of the problem is that SOA is hard; architecture is hard,” Bloomberg said. “There’s no magic bullet.”
“Service-oriented architecture is an architectural discipline that centers on the notion that IT assets are described and exposed as Services. These Services can then be composed in a loosely-coupled fashion into higher-level business processes, which providing business agility in the face of IT heterogeneity.”
Ronald Schmelzer, analyst, ZapThink LLC
In business, the only constant is change. Businesses, like people, are continuously evolving and as such face rapid and continual change. As markets and customer needs evolve, enterprises must respond with new ways to attract and retain customers and partners, increase operational efficiency, and achieve greater visibility into their business processes.
In most businesses, however, business people control the processes, while IT people control the systems. IT staff see business processes through the lens of the low-level parts of the flow, rather than at the business level. As a result, they aren’t capable of implementing the processes so that they will meet continuously changing business requirements, thus impeding business agility. Business users are increasingly demanding that they have control over their own business processes — and so, are requiring systems that put control of the flow and logic into their hands, not those of IT.
Fiorano Software offers a business-driven approach to building application functionality. They tie together the notions of Service-oriented process, Service-oriented integration and event-driven, message-based interaction into a single environment that enables users to combine their assets and information from multiple points of view. Fiorano’s event-based, business process-driven, Service-oriented integration approach solves today’s business problems by direclty mapping the model of a business process to the underlying implementation, removing the disconnect between business and IT that companies face today.