Quote from BEA:
The idea that you can buy SOA in a box is both amusing and dangerous. Thinking that you could buy a piece of software, install it, and then say you have SOA is the amusing part. The dangerous part is what might happen to your job once you install the software and people start to realize you are nowhere near having a service-oriented architecture.And BEA continues:
The reality is that before you can implement an SOA, you’ve got to lay the groundwork: a service bus where your services will managed, a service registry for identifying services, a security framework to manage access to your services, a solid understanding of your business processes, an enterprise architecture showing your eventual goals, and most importantly, executive sponsorship for your project. Putting these pieces in place will “service enable” your enterprise and get you ready to start implementing your SOA.BEA is not the only one who says so. And BEA, among all others, forgets the most important part along the service registry: a business events registry - which is one of the most important keys to the success of SOA. Why did they forget to mention this part? Probably because they don't offer it in their product portfolio (but I may be wrong on this one).
All true I would say. But... what about ERP-vendors like SAP? SAP offers a service bus, service registry, events registry, canonical data management, business processes, services deployments (!), business monitoring, business process management, security... out-of-the-box. Yes, of course the implementation must be tuned and configured. But it's all there, out-of-the-box. The difference between infrastucture-vendors and ERP-vendors like SAP is that the infrastructure-vendors are trying to sell infrastructure to the business whilst ERP-vendors are selling business solutions to the business. Who do you think will win?
I think mid-size companies that fully rely on ERP-solutions will be the first companies with a full-fledged SOA in place. The big enterprises relying on custom development will need much more years to reach the same level of SOA maturity. They might benefit from a kick start by building their SOA around one or more open SOA based ERP-systems that are positioned as dominant business solutions at enterprise level. If they don't, the big enterprises will all get behind on their smaller competitors with regard to vital IT-maturity within the years to come.
So the idea that you can buy SOA in a box might turn out not to be as amusing as the infrastructure-vendors want us to believe. It might even turn out to be dangerous to ignore the idea. Building an unpopulated SOA infrastructure from scratch, as the infrastructure-vendors are promoting, might in the end turn into a big mistake.