What is most valuable?
We utilize SOA(Service Oriented Architecture) as a service tool to integrate between Oracle and the websites. Primarily as a service integration tool to communicate from many sources into our ERP system. Oracle SOA suite is the middle-ware (middleman) responsible to import all the orders into the Oracle system of records. Additionally we use SOA's B2B suit to integrate to our B2B partners.
I see it as a platform rather than an oracle traditional product.
How has it helped my organization?
It's a very critical tool for us. It not only helps us import the orders from our eCommerce platform, but it also helps us to integrate to other third-party products. Those third-party products could be home grown, or other B2C sites or business-to-business sites.
It also helps us keep up with the speed. Whenever we need a quick integration, it's a great tool to call services(any source/destination) and get the integration done on-time. We are less worried about integrating to any third party software because SOA being part of our footprint.
What needs improvement?
I would like to see better mobile-friendly services. Desktop use is diminishing and customers have moved to smart phones and other Mobil devices . SOA has some mobile services already, but they're not very user-friendly (may be also depending on what version of SOA you are using). We would like to see a focus on mobile-friendly web services moving forward.
The second important aspect I would like to get improved is the User Interfaces. Especially for troubleshooting purposes, I do see a room to improve how a support executive can figure out an issue. In the current world a lot of troubleshoot happens by viewing a payload , which is not the best way to figure out a problem. A better UI can help to minimize the troubleshoot time.
What do I think about the stability of the solution?
By and large it is a stable product in my experience. There are down sides as well, however. I think handling very high load, the product has to develop some more maturity. For example, the stability becomes problematic when we are processing millions of records at the same time. Putting up more infrastructure can always help.
What do I think about the scalability of the solution?
Scalability and Stability are linked to each other as they impact each other.
It is scalable. You have to spend a little more money to scale it up. Our system handles transactions and products both. If we segregate and have parallel systems(servers) for transactions v/s products, it can be a better performing system.
How is customer service and technical support?
(5/10)Oracle does not offer support that meets our expectations. We need in-house expertise so that can we manage. You cannot rely on Oracle support. It's an Oracle product at the end of the day, but I don't think the support is up to the mark.There are less knowledgeable people on SOA compared to the other Oracle propriety products.
What other advice do I have?
It all depends on the business model of the company selecting a solution. It's not a complex tool in terms of building/utilizing services. It is a comprehensive service mediation tool and can handle heterogeneous service integrations . Businesses can utilize it as key performance tool as well. SOA allows enterprises to use BAM (Business Activity Monitoring), a run time business matrix from the various applications to provide important insight into the health of its operations and business activities.
Depending on how an enterprise explores it and leverages it, there are lot of benefits that can be reaped out of this comprehensive tool.
I would recommend that people have some in-house expertise to handle this product. People who really want to use this solution need to know the product well before they use it.