What is most valuable?
The Service Bus is a solid tool with native throttling out of the box capabilities. Using this feature one can ensure that at any point an application getting "rogue" will not overrun the capabilities of the main back end and by doing so endanger the entire IT landscape of the organization. With careful planning and performance benchmarking, you can ensure the applications are used at full capacity and not pass the critical load point. Another good feature was the introduction of the Composite Application Architecture which I believe it simplifies the entire development lifecycle.
How has it helped my organization?
This application impacts upon the overall architecture and directly influences directly the governance within the organisation. From my experience, having a middleware solution implemented, allows the organisation to organically move into a more disciplined development style where the application data ownership is far better respected than before.
What needs improvement?
I would like to have a cloud version available with virtualization capabilities which will reduce the implementation turnaround time.
For how long have I used the solution?
I've been using it for seven years.
What was my experience with deployment of the solution?
There were no issues with the deployment.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
We had issues with the early versions but lately the product is performing well.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
It's been able to scale for our needs.
How are customer service and technical support?
Oracle is providing good support for this tool.
Which solution did I use previously and why did I switch?
I have used other middleware applications before and I also evaluated a few. The recommendation for using one tool versus another is usually based on the entire IT landscape, the maturity of the organisation, and the complexity of the entire implementation.
How was the initial setup?
The initial implementation has improved a lot with the latest version. It used to be a more complex activity in the past, while with the latest version the installation is smooth and more straightforward.
What about the implementation team?
I have been on both sides of the fence. It is important to leverage the experience of an implementer who can bring the know-how and protect the organization from making mistakes that can prove to be very costly in the future. If the budget allows try to learn from the mistakes which were done by others before you.
What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?
Done right you can see an impact pretty fast. It is always a good idea to package it with other Oracle products in order to take advantage from the discounted rates. Your Oracle Sales Manager should be able to advice what is the best way to have the maximum savings.
What other advice do I have?
Plan carefully and make sure that the SOA is part of the vision of your enterprise. The last thing you want is to make it an "after thought" which can prove itself to be a risk on its own and very intrusive in nature.