Financial services firms -- with their unforgiving demands for near real-time transaction processing -- are proving to be the testing ground for the SOA model.
So it's no surprise that SOA Software has just announced it was acquiring software that has been pressed through the rigors of a major financial services firm. In fact, not only is SOA Software buying Merrill Lynch's X4ML Mainframe Web services platform, but is also hiring the people behind it.
This announcement is interesting for three reasons. First, SOA Software is acquiring software that already made its mark as an internally grown application at a major trading house, so it can be assumed that many bugs were worked out a long time ago. True to the philosophy of SOA, SOA Software isn't reinventing the wheel; it's making reuse of existing software.
Second, the vendor recognizes that there is a huge mainframe installed base out there that will serve as the core of many future SOA deployments.
Third, the system is no small potatoes. First rolled out in 2001, X4ML exposes and consumes more than 600 of Merrill's Web services, and processes more than 1.5 million transactions per day. SOA Software is taking the product to the market-at-large as SOLA (Service Oriented Legacy Architecture), which exposes mainframe applications as Web services, as well as enabling mainframe applications to consume Web services.