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SOA Best Practices Authors: Jason Bloomberg, Andy Thurai, Charles Araujo, Hollis Tibbetts, Pat Romanski

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Oracle buys BEA - Nice time to get a check-up

The biggest news in software may have already hit this year, but it's not like we didn't hear it coming for the past few months. Oracle finally makes good on its intent to buy BEA at $8.5B: To us, this is good news -- like when SoftwareAG and webMethods merged - it combines a strong integration firm with a global presence, with a technology leader in the SOA space. It's also a good move for Larry. Aside from increasing their customer base, it really moves Oracle more into the SOA mainstream - almost every customer we know has some Oracle apps, databases and integration inside their enterprise, but adding some leading AquaLogic ESB and Governance aspects of BEA will make a huge difference in advancing Oracle FUSION as an SOA platform. Oracle getting JRockit from BEA also bodes well for performance, as now they can optimize that for the Oracle application stack. For BEA customers, at least the anticipation is over, and they can continue to move forward with their plans with this reality in mind. I'm quite sure the best of BEA's stack will still be going on in the FUSION platform. Plus, for quality and reuse, consolidation of a SOAP stacks is a good thing. Both BEA and Oracle were operating their own SOAP stacks, and combining those particular efforts will create better interoperability for a whole lot of customers. Is this too much consolidation? There are still several choices for how you provision SOA - you can go TIBCO, SoftwareAG/webMethods, IBM or HP, now Oracle/BEA, maybe Microsoft, or even open source, and there are best of breed tools out there that still perform unique functions in the SOA ecosystem. See, SOA is still something you DO, not something you buy. The business requirements should still lead the technology decision in every case -- and that doesn't usually jibe with the "one vendor fits all" strategy. Where's the risk to BEA and Oracle customers? As a vendor charged with testing and validating platforms from both BEA and Oracle, this will create many new opportunities to help companies integrate and ensure business continuity as the story of consolidation continues to evolve. We recommend that whatever your preferred tools are, that you follow best practices of creating a set of baseline component and system-wide tests of your "as-is" environment, so that as these two platforms are merged and upgraded, you will be able to test and maintain Business Continuity throughout the process. This is equally important if you decide to move to another vendor as well. While we do believe that the combined new company will certainly make a commitment to customers, if you are in IT there is no shortcut to quality. Your best strategy is to establish a line of defense against unforeseen consequences -- with a thorough, and thoroughly managed suite of tests.

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