Managing a hot rod SOA has become the burning question mark for SOA infrastructure providers. And the question is not just when, or even how, but if.
That is, if you build a SOA and they do come, will there be adequate means to control, scale, provision, and automate the parameters and policies that confine services (and metadata) to productive operations?
By the rapid grab of companies in the past few months (Progress-Actional-Sonic, HP-Mercury/Systinet, BEA-Flashline, and now WebMethods-Infravio), the question has left some folks queasy. The worry is that the means to SOA governance may not be in place in time for the arrival of SOA.
The added worry is that as a SOA provider you must have management/governance in place, or the buyer may ignore how good the rest of your stuff is. As a cautious CIO, I may settle for a Mazda over a Ferrari if the Mazda has better brakes and self-limiter on the carburetor. That concern has forced SOA vendors to rush out to get governance.
So when the build, buy, or partner consideration process has unfolded lately -- the buy option has won out. No time to dawdle: Bulk up, integrate, govern, go to market -- tout de suite. I wondered just recently why Infravio was still up for grabs.
Between IBM's summer shopping spree and the recent SOA synergy sellathon, a massive amount of mergers and acquisitions in software has been under way. The fact that more of these products are built with SOA in mind (and of SOA), and with more of their core components and platforms leveraging open source and standards, may mean that it has become less risky to combine products and services.
That means there is reduced risk of bulking up via acquisitions. It also means as a vendor you should build to be able to integrate well. We all know waiting to go IPO as a component, rather than a solution, is passe -- big time.
So who's next in the buy-or-be-bought sweepstakes? Likely candidates (in no particular order) include SOA Software, LogicLibrary, Progress, IBM, Novell, IONA, Red Hat/JBoss, HP, Cape Clear, Mind Reef, Rogue Wave, Cisco, Sybase, TIBCO, BMC, Borland, AmberPoint, Software AG, Composite Software, CA, Above All, Adobe, Oracle, SAP, Sun Microsystems, among others.
So there will be a lot more match-making to come. And there are also those interesting open source SOA initiatives. The music is playing, do you have a chair before it stops?
Disclosure: Cape Clear, Cisco, and HP are sponsors of BriefingsDirect podcasts.