Oracle SOA Suite Review

It's one integrated product and supportive of different technologies.


Valuable Features:

The best feature is that it's one integrated product and very supportive of different technologies, so it supports the best-standard products such as SOA, BPM, and PeopleSoft. These are industry standards, not just Oracle standards. Once you deploy and build solutions on top of it, you have stability. So if you move away from Oracle, you can reuse a lot of the integration and the thought that was behind it. The second part is it has support for an amazing number of technologies as well as business adapters, so it can make your integration very easy and seamless.

Improvements to My Organization:

If I have to be very precise, I would say that is one of the best integration platforms in terms of the fact that it has support from pretty much every technology as well as business connections available. For instance, imagine if you want to connect your EBS with Salesforce. You can do it through SOA Suite using all those adapters. Similarly, if you're to connect your Salesforce with any other hundred million cloud-based apps, you can do all of it using out-of-the-box cloud adapters that SOA Suite provides.

Room for Improvement:

The product is very capable, it has a lot of features, but that makes it very complex to manage, maintain, install, patch, and monitor. Since we are moving into an age of DevOps and smart automation I'd like Oracle to invest in ways where it can improve the developer productivity and the way our infrastructure can be managed, self-healed, self-monitored, and give you indications of where the lights are on or off. There are different products at the moment, but that means integrating with those products again. If you step into that thing, you have to buy five different products from Oracle and include them all together to have this functionality achieved. If it's such a good platform for middleware, it should have those features as well.

Stability Issues:

The platform historically has had stability issues with every new release. The platform moved from 10g to 11g, had around seven releases in 11g, then moved to 12c, with a further five releases in 12c. These issues are then addressed through a lot of patches and patch sets, and that's a problem with the platform. A lot of times it's a combination of a platform and an application which can cause stability issues. We've seen a lot of stability issues with Oracle Server Suite when they release new versions.

Scalability Issues:

SOA Suite is not so much for the number of users. It's for the number of integrations that you process, as the metric is different. You don't use SOA Suite with end users in mind, as it's an integration platform. It has support for a wide number of applications from legacy mainframes to modern ones such as Salesforce.

Initial Setup:

SOA Suite is a bit challenging. SOA Suite has a lot of products inside it but they're all bundled together. You have the option of bundling them all together when you're installing and then adding additional components once you've installed. That process is straightforward, but it is very complicated. It is straightforward for demos, but when it comes to enterprise-grade deployment, it is very complicated.

Other Advice:

With a lot of cloud applications coming in, the dimensions of integration is changing. Integration is not just between systems on premise, but it is also between systems on-premise and in the cloud. And, again between systems within the cloud. So WebLogic, and SOA Suite together are not sufficient to handle all these integrations. It has been proven to support integration which are on-premise to cloud, and then cloud-to-cloud integration, so the dimensions of integration are changing. Invest in how you would use SOA Suite over other cloud-based integration suites such as ICS and have a clear strategy about when do you use which integration platform.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: Partners
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