My last post, detailing predictions that Oracle and SAP will be scooping up SOA companies, raised a few eyebrows.
Neil Macehiter of Macehiter Ward-Dutton, for one, dubbed the notion "bizarre." Neil writes: "I am more than a little surprised by these suggestions from the Gartner analyst: Oracle has Web services orchestration with the BPEL capabilities it acquired with Collaxa and has Web services management by virtue of Confluent via Oblix. ...I see Oracle needing to plug gaps in end-to-end service lifecycle management (aka SOA governance), although with Infravio and Systinet out of play, now the options are somewhat limited."
My colleague Dana Gardner also feels that Oracle is unlikely to make any big acquisitions in the SOA space anytime soon, but instead will concentrate on its own made-in-Redwood-Shores solutions. "Oracle may well continue to enter vertical and specialized markets with outright purchases of industry-specific applications and data design concerns, but buying big chunks of SOA infrastructure — they will opt to build instead." Ditto for SAP, he adds.
Oracle and SAP are immense companies that are channeling more of their massive muscle into SOA. They recognize that SOA will eventually be both a threat and opportunity to their core businesses. As discussed a few weeks back in this blog, there are industry observers predicting that SOA may begin to overshadow ERP, for example. Whether you agree or disagree that SOA will suck the life out of packaged enterprise applications, large vendors know they need to do whatever it takes to stay ahead of the curve.