SOA vendors get low marks in BPM, high marks in 'roadmap honesty'

In a new side-by-side rating of 20 critical SOA features, most vendors did not score well in support of business process management or registry. But most did well in regards to 'roadmap honesty,' which can be assumed to mean sticking to their promises, and adherence to standards. So there's hope.

For the second year in a row, Steve Jones provides his assessment of where the large infrastructure vendors stand in regards to SOA.  Steve has some real cool graphs that chart each vendors' progress across 20 different SOA touchpoints, which would be impossible to reproduce here.

Below are six key metrics (with ratings of 1 to 5) for each vendor, as well as some of Steve's insights.

Note that other than IBM, the vendors did not score well in support of business process management or registry. Most did well in regards to "roadmap honesty" (which can be assumed to mean sticking to their promises) and adherence to standards.

So there's hope.

UPDATE: The ratings presented below represent current standings for vendor product lines. Steve also provides projected ratings three years out. Looking at the vendor product direction and roadmaps, he sees a vast improvement in scores for BPM and registry. I've added updated commentary in areas where the vendors will show improvement. 

IBM:

  • BPM -2
  • Registry - 3
  • Management - 3
  • Standards - 4
  • AppDev - 4
  • Roadmap honesty - 4

UPDATE: Steve predicts IBM will strengthen its BPM and registry offerings within the next three years (rising to 4 and 4, respectively.)

"...Good suite, good for applications, good vision (where it isn't subverted) but they are a bit weak across the enterprise they really need to start being honest around their roadmap so people can start planning for the Java based solution that is bound to come."

BEA:

  • BPM -3
  • Registry - 2
  • Management - 2
  • Standards - 4
  • AppDev - 4
  • Roadmap honesty - 4

UPDATE: BEA's BPM and registry offerings will likely rise to 4s in the next three years. BEA will also get top ratings for standards and application development (scoring a 5 in each).

"...Great product suite, great stack, good split of business and technology, but they need to focus more around the operationals for SOA in the same way as they have previously done around the application server."

Oracle:

  • BPM -2
  • Registry - 2
  • Management - 2
  • Standards - 4
  • AppDev - 3
  • Roadmap honesty - 4

UPDATE: Oracle's ratings for BPM and registry each rise to 4 over the next three years.

"...A good stack, an amazing rate of acceleration but its fair to say that there are still plenty of areas for improvement for the 11 AS release."

SAP 

  • BPM -2
  • Registry - 2
  • Management - 2
  • Standards - 3
  • AppDev - 2
  • Roadmap honesty - 3

UPDATE: SAP achieves a 4 rating for BPM three years out, Steve predicts.

"Basically if you are doing SAP then its worth doing, and indeed its probably the only way, but if its a choice as a broad technology stack across the enterprise then this probably isn't the one you are looking for."

Microsoft 

  • BPM -1
  • Registry - 1
  • Management - 1
  • Standards - 3
  • AppDev - 2
  • Roadmap honesty -3

UPDATE: Microsoft sees higher ratings across the board for its plans three years out. BPM will still remain low at 2, but its registry, management, and application development scores will move up to 3s.

"BizTalk remains the heart of much of the SOA messaging but its essentially the same product as 2004.... Either Microsoft want to play in the enterprise software space or they've decided that its not worth the effort, this year should outline which of those it is."

Sun Microsystems:

  • BPM -2
  • Registry - 2
  • Management - 1
  • Standards - 4
  • AppDev - 2
  • Roadmap honesty -4

UPDATE: Sun's management score increases from a 1 to a 3 three years out.

"...Great integration stack, really good for doing interfaces onto systems, needs to broaden out (using the tools that they actually have) into being an application stack and from there on towards the business." 

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