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SOA: SAP versus Oracle

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SAP and Oracle have been taking different approaches to service oriented architecture (SOA) and this article by Mark Brunelli pinpoints some of those differences:

Experts point out that Oracle is focusing its SOA efforts on building an open infrastructure with its Java-based Fusion middleware offering. Alternately, SAP, with its NetWeaver application platform, is focusing its ongoing SOA initiative on making it easier for customers to deploy and customize various SAP packaged applications.

“SAP’s primary goal is to make sure that their applications are supported and their partners are supported,” said Forrester analyst R. “Ray” Wang. “Oracle’s framework is definitely a lot more open in the sense that the standards adoption is much more open, but the applications being built on top of the middleware have yet to be proven.” ((Brunelli, Mark, August 9, 2006. “Oracle vs. SAP: Picking the Right Path to SOA.” Retrieved from on August 14, 2006.))

This makes perfect sense as SAP has a pretty decent network of partnership associated wit hNetWeaver and Oracle isn’t nearly as strong with their network allowing them to architect the technology without the constraints of other people’s coding.

Brunelli also validates something Martin Snyder stated here a couple months ago that SOA is a bit further away than a “few years.”

Companies starting down a path toward SOA should expect the entire project to take at least 15 years to complete, but those same firms can begin realizing the benefits of SOA within the first six months, says Anne Thomas Manes, a vice president and research director with Midvale, Utah-based Burton Group.

“People who think that SOA is a six-month project are disillusioned because they’re getting nowhere,” Manes said. “You can start to see benefits from SOA within six months, but really what you’re doing during that time is integration using Web services technology. That’s not the same thing as SOA.”

SOA, Manes explained, is about identifying replication, eliminating duplicate implementations of functionality and ultimately removing application silos so that all systems share what they need to share at the core level. ((Ibid))

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