Oracle packages middleware as SOA suite

Integration, common management tools part of package. By Paul Krill

Oracle is packaging together several of its existing Fusion middleware products as the Oracle SOA (service-oriented architecture) Suite.

Products will be integrated and have a common install and common management tools. The suite is a unique approach to addressing SOA deployments, says Rick Schultz, Oracle's vice president of Fusion Middleware.

"People have piece parts but nobody's really put together a comprehensive SOA suite and certainly not one that's hot-pluggable and works with other vendors' middleware products," Schultz says. Howerver, despite the interoperability, using the suite with Oracle's application server will be cheaper than using it on a rival application server — the price is US$50,000 (NZ$72,000) per CPU when deployed with an Oracle app server or US$65,000 per CPU when used with a rival product.

Components of the suite include Oracle BPEL (Business Process Execution Language) Process Manager, for mapping out business process flows, Oracle Enterprise Service Bus (for connecting existing IT systems and business partners as a set of services), Oracle Web Services Manager (providing a console for setting Web services policies) and Oracle Business Rules Engine (for defining and managing business rules).

Other middleware products in the suite include Oracle Business Activity Monitoring (for insight into business operations), Oracle Enterprise Manager (for managing SOAs) and Oracle JDeveloper 10g, an app dev environment for Java applications.

Although Oracle and its competitors are gunning to create a complete SOA package, "It's not clear that customers are looking for a one-stop shop for SOA," saysRonald Schmelzer, senior analyst at ZapThink. (ZapThink is an analyst firm specialising in XML, web services and service orientation).

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