SOA Report: Enterprise Deployments Predicted To Grow

Companies will increasingly adopt service-oriented architectures (SOAs) for their business operations and processes, according to Gartner Inc. The research firm predicts SOA adoption rates of more than 50 percent in 2007, growing to more than 80 percent by 2010, for "new mission-critical applications."

SOA is still new and requires more careful application design compared with traditional client-server architecture. IT administrators will need middleware to integrate an SOA solution. Moreover, the distributed architecture of an SOA entails additional complexity and costs, according to Gartner.

SOA's upfront costs currently make it a bit of leap for companies. Gartner recommends SOA for large-scale implementations starting in 2008, but only for projects with a planned lifespan of more than three years. Otherwise, the cost for an SOA can't be justified by its returns.

Gartner has an optimistic view of SOA for the future, even though present-day implementations of SOA have had performance problems. Those problems mostly have to do with the design of the SOA, where "SOA principles have been applied too rigidly," according to L. Frank Kenney, research director for Gartner.

Despite some failures, Kenny recommended SOA as part of a company's IT strategy, especially for "new business-critical applications," where Kenney is bullish.

"Organizations should aggressively invest in SOA as it will rapidly become the architectural foundation for virtually every new business-critical application," he added.

SOA Consortium
In other news, the SOA Consortium announced two new members. The American Red Cross and Federal Signal Corp., a provider of security solutions to government and industry, have joined the Consortium.

The SOA Consortium, an industry advocacy group, also plans to hold its inaugural European meeting on June 27-28 in Brussels.

IBM Federal SOA Institute
IBM opened a new center in Washington, D.C. to help integrate SOA technologies for government organizations. The lab enhances IBM's existing efforts at the federal level, which include 80 engineers and architects working on federal IT solutions and two competency centers.

SOA Products
Progress Software Corp. is offering its new Sonic ESB 7.5 service bus for the enterprise. The product is designed to support the reuse of applications in an SOA. It works with Progess' Sonic-brand solutions and adds full WS-BPEL 2.0 support for the development of intelligent routing and integration services via an Eclipse platform.

SOA Partnerships/Acquisitions
Here are just some of the past week's deals in the SOA space, to date.

Tibco Software and Infosys Technologies have expanded their partnership on SOA technology. The companies are collaborating on jointly developed solutions using Tibco's ActiveMatrix solution, which enables "service virtualization" -- a way to view multiple services via a single platform.

SAP AG and Cisco are jointly developing SOA business solutions. The companies are planning to release three governance, risk and compliance composite applications by year's end. The deal combines SAP's business-process expertise with Cisco's strengths in networking and IT infrastructure.

SAP invested in AmberPoint, a provider of SOA runtime governance software. The investment was part of AmberPoint's $9 million funding round.

Vitria Technology will include its Business Accelerator SOA integration suite with Red Hat's open-source JBoss Enterprise Application Platform. The deal provides a solution for companies that want to integrate their business processes while using existing IT infrastructure.

Red Hat is acquiring MetaMatrix, a provider of data management and integration software. The deal will boost the data-service SOA capabilities of Red Hat's JBoss Enterprise Middleware.

WebLayers, a provider of automated SOA governance, is working to distribute its solution to enterprises in Canada through a partnership with Softworx Technology Group.

webMethods' Fabric 7.0 platform was selected by Lenders First Choice, a national provider of settlement services and title insurance. The SOA-based business integration platform will enable Lenders First Choice to automate its transactions and comply with regulatory requirements, as well as integrate with lenders and third-party providers.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is online news editor, Enterprise Group, at 1105 Media Inc.