I spotted a recent announcement from Microsoft around its Enterprise Service Bus plans here and here. For some reason, it doesn’t seem to be getting a lot of coverage, unlike IBM’s and BEA’s recent SOA announcements.
What I found striking was how Microsoft, unlike some of the other major players, seems to understand that SOA requires a different view not only of architecture but also about middleware. In particular, the “one stack to rule them all” doesn’t hold water. There will almost always be a need to implement your SOA across multiple infrastructures. This has been a long term view of mine: I can see little benefit for customers from replacement of deployed queuing systems, BI systems or anything else that works just to get the benefits of a single vendor/stack solution when there is no reason the ESB can’t sit along side these.
Microsoft clearly get this point as they announced with their partner, Neudesic, are packaging recommendations to assist ISVs in building ESBs which do of course incorporate Microsoft technologies (BizTalk, etc) but also as the CTO of Neudesic, Kevin points out:
“The key here is that ESBs and SOAs won't work unless the services span vendor wares and technologies”
And then goes on to refer to using IBM’s WebSphere-MQ as part of a solution.
We will of course have to wait to see whether this openness lasts when they have completed the product roadmap and have their own complete solution!