Oracle SOA Suite Review

JMS integration for reliable messaging is probably the most valuable feature. There's no proper documentation or tutorial for embedding JavaScript.


What is most valuable?

Service orchestration using BPEL and OSB is the feature most used. JMS integration for reliable messaging is probably the most valuable feature.

Pub/Sub is an integration pattern very commonly used. SOA/WebLogic provides easy-to-use JMS services that can be used in BPEL or OSB. This is the only way to guarantee the delivery of messages. Any message that needs guaranteed delivery has to go over JMS.

How has it helped my organization?

The product allows loose coupling between applications. We no longer use point-to-point integration or tightly coupled integration. This provides reusability of services and ease of integration.

What needs improvement?

In the previous 11g release, there wasn't any straightforward support for calling or exposing REST services with JSON payloads. REST support was released with version 12c (12.1.3 to be specific). With this version, a REST adapter was introduced, which can be used for calling REST services or exposing OSB or BPEL as a REST service. Embedded JavaScript inside BPEL was another new feature to help work with REST/JSON services. It was all good, but using them is not very straightforward. There's no proper documentation or tutorial for embedding JavaScript.

For how long have I used the solution?

We have been using this solution for about seven years now. We started with version 11.1.1.4.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

A new deployment or proper deployment takes a lot of time, planning and researching. Once you get your topology right, then scaling the infrastructure is not a big issue. Again, the documentation needs to be more specific about the things you need to keep in mind when starting with a new deployment.

How is customer service and technical support?

I would rate it no more than 2.5/5. This is where they need to really improve the turnaround time. Issues usually take a bit of time to resolve. It's not an ideal scenario if you have a production issue.

Which solutions did we use previously?

We have used some parts of TIBCO BusinessWorks before. We did evaluate some other products and looked at Gartner, etc. Based on our experience and customer relations with Oracle, we decided to go with it.

How was the initial setup?

Initial setup in the previous version was quite complex. It has improved a lot in the 12c version. Still, you need to configure quite a few things before you get it right. Some of the things are not easy to configure. Also, there are number of places where configuration is required and that makes it a bit tricky.

What was our ROI?

I will skip ROI. About pricing, if you have a good relationship with Oracle, it helps.

What other advice do I have?

We are happy with the product. If someone is looking to implement it, they should really look to get their infrastructure right before you start implementing services.

Disclosure: I am a real user, and this review is based on my own experience and opinions.
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