Oracle offers SOA deployment suite

Seeking to offer one-stop shopping for SOA, Oracle is packaging several of its existing Fusion middleware products together as the Oracle SOA Suite.

Products will be integrated and have both a common install and common management tools. Featuring Oracle's BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) and ESB products, the suite represents a unique approach to addressing SOA deployments, according to Rick Schultz, vice president of Oracle Fusion Middleware.

"People have piece parts, but nobody's really put together a comprehensive SOA suite and certainly not one that's hot-pluggable and works with other vendors' middleware products," Schultz said.

Oracle uses the term "hot-pluggable" to mean interoperability with other vendors' middleware. Utilizing the suite with Oracle's application server, however, will be less expensive than using it on a rival application server. The suite's price is US$50,000 per CPU when deployed with an Oracle application server, or US$65,000 per CPU when used with a rival application server. Oracle SOA Suite is available now.

With its suite, Oracle, like other companies, is betting that users want a single provider for SOA, said Ronald Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink, in an e-mail.

"Not only is Oracle offering this comprehensive-type approach to SOA, but it looks like IBM, BEA, Microsoft, and even SAP are gunning for the 'complete' SOA package. While the markets for SOA have matured, it's not clear that customers are looking for a one-stop-shop for SOA," Schmelzer said.

Customers are looking for interoperability, but not necessarily a single-vendor solution, according to Schmelzer. "And so, we'll have to see what wins the tug-of-war: greater vendor choice through interoperability and loose coupling, or reduced vendor selection for purposes of efficiency," Schmelzer said.

Components of the suite include: Oracle BPEL Process Manager, for mapping out business process flows; Oracle Enterprise Service Bus, for connecting existing IT systems and business partners as a set of services; Oracle Web Services Manager, providing a console for setting Web services policies; and Oracle Business Rules Engine, for defining and managing business rules.

Release of the suite marks the first time Oracle Enterprise Service Bus has been separated from the company's application server.

Other middleware products in the suite are Oracle Business Activity Monitoring, for insight into business operations; Oracle Enterprise Manager, for managing service-oriented applications; and Oracle JDeveloper 10g, which is Oracle's application development environment for Java applications.

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