One Forrester Research analyst told me recently that he thinks Oracle -- which touts a vaguely defined SOA vision of business "fusion" -- is possibly two years behind SAP in terms of thought leadership and architectural development.
Well, Oracle (no surprise) would suggest otherwise. According to fellow ZDNet blogger David Berlind, the company has the SOA foundations pretty well covered. What's more, it is taking an open source route to this destination.
In an interview with Oracle's vice president Rick Shultz (available as an MP3 that can be downloaded or, if you’re already subscribed to ZDNet’s IT Matters series of audio podcasts, it will show up on your system or MP3 player automatically. See ZDNet’s podcasts: How to tune in), Shultz said:
Amidst the slew of technologies and standards that are out there in the market today, there’s really just a few select key standard technologies that really matter for building the elements of an SOA application. We believe those are things like Java Server Faces for building user interfaces, Enterprise Java Beans 3.0 for building business logic and [the Business Process Execution Language] for mapping business process flows. For each of those technologies that help developers to build SOA applications, Oracle is making it easier to use those technologies through providing the tooling. We’re taking a leadership role in driving their direction, and we’re ensuring that there are free tools available for using all those technologies. We’re making our complete SOA development environment which we call Oracle JDeveloper 10g available for free to all developers. In addition to that, we’re also taking a leadership role and a major role in a couple open source projects around Java Server Faces (JSF). One being the Apache MyFaces project, where we’ve now joined as a core contributor and the other being our proposal to lead an Eclipse Foundation project for JSF tooling.
Nothing wrong with "free" -- as long as there is some thinking about how the giveaways will lead to a fine pay day. But, no doubt, the folks in Redwood Shores have thought of that too. Clearly, the "war" for the hearts and minds of SOA developers is now on.