HEADSTRONG

"Simplicity is the ultimate form of sophistication" - Leonardo Da Vinci

Oracle SOA Suite is a family of cutting-edge, integration products grouped together. Designing solutions is a treat, like relishing a grand buffet with delicious spread.

But how you end the buffet - with sound sleep or food poisoning depends on your choice. Oracle SOA demands cautious design choices since, inappropriate design decisions can lead to maintenance nightmares and Complex development efforts.

The Suite's design choices offered - be it OSB or Mediator ESB, B2B Adapter or B2B Web Services or B2B gateway, BAM or Custom ADF UI, can be argued both as strength and weakness of the Product.

What Oracle SOA lacks?

1.      Integrated Deployment automation.

  B2B has separate export and import of Agreements and Configurations.

  OSB has separate Customization files to deal with deployment.

  SCA Composites come up with ant Deployment scripts.

  BAM has proprietary ICommand Utility for migration.

  Configuration of Server resources through WLST.

  Mail Drivers on Enterprise Manager console needs to be done separately.

A single click deployment / Migration process is possible but needs a lot of effort. Personally I would focus on BPEL based deployment process, invoking the library of Deployment Services, rather providing complex ant and WLST scripts.

2.      B2B component is designed as gateway and does not gel well with Composite architecture.
It caters well to asynchronous data transfer. But synchronous Transaction on B2B will not work well for validation errors, since gateway has separate error handling mechanism.

3.      The data flowing across OSB, B2B components, need to be persisted with interim Queues / DB. Rollback, to prevent Message loss. Only BPEL component has persistence mechanism.

4.      Each component has its own Exception handling and Runtime characteristics. Implementation and Design varies for each Product within SOA Suite.

5.      Unified Runtime Monitoring Console - spanning OSB, B2B, BPEL is not available. Each Product has its own monitoring / administration console.

Monitoring data flow across these components at run-time can be an interesting cat and mouse chase, working across various consoles.

BAM is the designated Monitoring utility. It has the following shortcomings making it inadequate for Business Use.

  The BAM Data Objects are not flexible for a dynamic SQL query. The data is not accessible to end-user. This rigidity makes BAM's excellent data capture mechanism useless.

  The BAM console works only on Internet Explorer. The widgets are yet to be built on ADF, for Reports / Dashboards.

  The Alerts and Reports are not fully integrated to the SOA Runtime environment. Need for configuring separate email / notification drivers. This is redundant activity since the Enterprise Manager has separate driver configuration.

Epilogue

Oracle SOA has everything you need to satisfy business needs, but lacks Unified Platform, focusing on seamless development and most importantly maintenance.

Having experienced similar integration products which deliver in a simpler way, I do Believe, Integration needs to be done within Oracle SOA Suite....aiming - ONE place for all configurations, ONE monitoring console and ONE Development IDE / UI.

Oracle SOA Suite has gone through major impressive improvements from 10g to 11g. Hope we will have a better simpler future version answering Client's needs.

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication. ~ Leonardo da Vinci