Oracle SOA Suite Review

It is perfect for large deployments and integrating with other Oracle solutions


What is our primary use case?

Sysadmin and DBA for SOA services for our internal solution development and an implementer at various customer sites.

How has it helped my organization?

SOA Suite allows legacy applications to be connected to new applications using an intuitive interface. This defines workflows which are triggered based on various criteria and events. This enables our customers to switch from polled events or scheduled actions to triggered micro batches. It enables the freshest data to be available across all the various systems. It also is a building block of many packaged applications from Oracel such as Oracle Fusion Applications, Oracel Banking Platform, Oracel Insurance platform Etc.

What is most valuable?

The ability to stand up a highly available SOA Suite, which has full DR capabilities, in a remote center and synchronize the databases using Data Guard. From a sysadmin perspective, it is a very robust solution. We see even llomng after Oracel retired AIA which was built on Oracel SOA it is still very popular in the telecom industry.

What needs improvement?

Various parts of SOA, BPEL, and so on, each have their own consoles which need to be accessed individually with different logins. It would be better from an admin perspective if all the consoles were accessible via a single login.

For how long have I used the solution?

More than five years.

What do I think about the stability of the solution?

No, we have not faced any major issues.

What do I think about the scalability of the solution?

No issues. We were able to scale out using multiple application and web servers balanced by hardware load balancers and Weblogic clustering. Similarly, we were able to deploy the database on Oracle real application clusters, allowing scale out of the SOA Dehydration database.

How are customer service and technical support?

We have had some very good interactions with some support engineers, but felt there were others who were not up to the mark. Hence, sometimes it is useful to reopen unsatisfactorily closed SRSs in a different timezone .

If you previously used a different solution, which one did you use and why did you switch?

No previous solutions were used.

How was the initial setup?

The initial setup was quite complex. We were interested in an HA DR setup with scale out, including multiple web, app, and DB servers having no single point of failure. Hence, we went with an enterprise deployment which is quite a bit more complex than the standard install.

What about the implementation team?

We implemented it ourselves (as we are system integrators for this solution) both at our own premises and at multiple customer locations.

What was our ROI?

This is difficult to quantify as it enables additional different functionality which was not there with a vanilla setup. 

It became a necessary part of our successful solution.

What's my experience with pricing, setup cost, and licensing?

This product is WebLogic based, hence it can be both resource hungry as well as expensive from a licensing point of view.

Which other solutions did I evaluate?

We have a mandate to work with various Oracle products, hence we did not evaluate it against any competing products. However, some of our customers did compare this solution to Mule ESB

SOA Suite is the only solution that integrates seamlessly with other Oracle ERP products.

What other advice do I have?

For integrating with Oracle solutions, such as Oracle EBS, which has an integrated SOA Gateway which can connect to an instance of Oracle SOA Suite to automate various processes, this is the best solution. As it is built on proven robust enterprise grade BEA technology, like WebLogic server, it is perfect for large deployments.

Disclosure: My company has a business relationship with this vendor other than being a customer: We are Diamond Cloud Elite partners of Oracle and implement the Oracle SOA Suite solution for various customers, as well as using it in our own internal labs for developing solutions.
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