SOA is no silver bullet says Oracle

31 May 2006

Firms considering deploying service-oriented architecture (SOA) on top of existing IT infrastructure should realise that it is no silver bullet solution to their IT problems, a senior Oracle executive told

David Keene, director of product management at Oracle’s Fusion Middleware, said that while SOA is the glue linking Oracle’s acquisition strategy of the past two years, there is something of a hype cycle surrounding the technology.

He said that it would be wrong to deploy SOA as part of a top-down IT strategy but would be a sensible method of mending specific IT problems.

“SOA enables a richer way of interacting, is more adaptable and more interoperable. However, firms should ensure that when deploying it that it meets a real business requirement,” he said.

Keene offered the following advice to businesses considering deploying SOA: “Find something that has a real business case rather than some crazy IT plumbing project. Look at something that is broken and can save the business money.

“Find the services that you need to connect to. The key thing is to deliver value.

“SOA is not a silver bullet despite the fact that IT vendors are positioning it as a silver bullet. Deploy it in such a way that there are measurable business benefits,” he added.

Keene was speaking at an IDC conference in Dublin last week focusing on dynamic IT environments.

Duncan Brown, a consulting director for IDC UK, said that according to IDC’s research large organisations in Europe are less aware of SOA than their medium-sized counterparts. “That’s because it’s easier to deploy SOA to medium-sized companies because of the complexities involved. Virtualisation and grid computing are an essential component of successful SOA integration.”

In related news, Irish middleware company Iona yesterday revealed that Reuters’ financial software division has selected its Artix SOA enterprise service bus into its Kondor+ trade and risk management system, which will be delivered to more than 600 customer sites worldwide.

By John Kennedy