Microsoft: too little. IBM: too much.

Microsoft contains its enthusiasm on SOA, while IBM gets too uber-eager.

This is too ironic to pass up. The other day, I posted a piece about how Microsoft wasn't talking up SOA enough. Now, this article by Michael Meehan in pops up -- stating that IBM is overdoing the whole SOA bit, with too many conflicting messages.

"In the wake of IBM's latest barrage of service-oriented architecture product announcements, analysts agree that there's a lot of Big Blue to love, but add that it could stand to go on a diet," Meehan observes.

What seems to have analysts perplexed is IBM's delivery of not one but two enterprise service buses (ESBs) -- one for heavy transaction environments, and another lightweight ESB for smaller sites.  (See "IBM gets on the bus, twice.")

Burton Group's Anne Thomas Manes is quoted as saying that IBM should have produced an integration product that could cover all bases in growing SOAs. "Instead, it produced a minimalist ESB product with limited integration capabilities and no management functionality, and an advanced ESB product that is really an integration broker -- not an ESB -- and it doesn't support management either. Meanwhile, the Tivoli product won't be integrated with either one."

Manes also noted that "IBM would have served its customers better by sticking to its guns and making it clear that you can't buy SOA."

Well put. That's a message Britton and I try to convey at this site as well, and I agree that it is surprising that IBM would jump on the ESB bandwagon. SOAs are not built overnight, but are developed through an incremental and evolutionary process, in line with business needs. And that's been IBM's message for years.