Oracle & Sun: integration and SOA perspective

Although it wasn’t the first subject most people thought of, after the announcement that Oracle wants to acquire Sun Microsystems, both have a well equipped stack of products for integration, and to create the software infrastructure for a SOA. This post will go into that part of the acquisition in more detail. Based on web resources and analyst reports, we are looking for synergy and additions to the product portfolio.

Sun

Magic Quadrant dec 2008

Magic Quadrant dec 2008

Sun’s platform for integration is Java Composite Application Platform Suite (Java CAPS). For the larger part this came with the acquisition of SeeBeyond. Before that ICAN, as it was called, was SeeBeyond’s flagship product. It’s roots are in the EAI market. CAPS in turn is a sub package of JES.

Gartner sees Sun, with the Java CAPS products, as a visionair (other link). Primarily because of a lag of mind share of the CAPS compared to other suites in the market, and because of less focus on this open-source component compared to others, including Solaris, MySQL, and GlassFish. Sun is recognized for it’s open-source leadership, broad comprehensive set of enterprise application infrastructure technologies, and leadership in the Java Community Process.

In the most recent Forrester Wave for Integration Centric BPMS, Java CAPS is seen as a “competitive solution”. This is mainly due to lower scores in the areas of B2B, BPM, and the incomplete overall product strategy.

Oracle

Forrester Wave Integration-Centric BPM Suites Q4 08

Forrester Wave Integration-Centric BPM Suites Q4 08

With the SOA Suite, Oracle has a great (software) platform for enterprise scale integration and service-oriented architecture. Which is in the process of being enriched with the BEA product at the time of writing.

Forrester regards Oracle as a repeat in the Leader category based on the comprehensive capabilities of its SOA Suite product. Trough the acquisition of BEA, Oracle inherited some key products such as the enterprise service bus and repository.

Besides the praise for the SOA Suite Gartner stresses the downside of this acquisition: The massive effort that will be needed to integrate BEA Systems’ technologies into Oracle’s original products. This will absorb a significant part of Oracle’s R&D resources. In addition there is not yet a clear migration path for existing customers.

Perspective

With the acquisition of Sun Microsystems, Oracle gains the customers base of CAPS. Because of Oracle’s reputation in the market, it remains to be seen whether the leadership in both the open-source and Java EE community can be capitalized. But still, when Oracle owns Sun, Oracle will “own” Java EE, the platform of many, if not most, enterprise SOA deployments…

The downside of the acquisition, that R&D focus will be on integration instead of on development of new features and releases, will gain weight. Here consolidation will be in the way of innovation. Combined with the unclear migration path, this will affect customers in the process of choosing a suite of products to support them in their integration effort, or the software infrastructure to support a SOA implementation.

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