SOA is still going strong. Businesses that already use SOA are expanding their SOA initiatives and new businesses are starting to adopt SOA and to implement SOA technologies. The first-time SOA infrastructure purchase is shifting from ESBs to other technologies.
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According to a recent survey from Forrester analytics, SOA “still has strong penetration and high satisfaction rates.” About 75% of enterprise respondents and 80% of small to midsized businesses that responded are planning on expanding their use of SOA. Back in 2009, the Global 200 enterprises had shown a drop in satisfaction. Only 18% responded that SOA was meeting all or most of their expectations. In 2010, this number rose to 33%, which is more in line with earlier years.
The utilities/telecom sector and the financial/insurance sector are still leading other verticals in terms of SOA adoption and satisfaction. Healthcare and public sectors still trail behind the rest of the pack. Geographically, North America and Europe show similar penetration patterns for SOA, but North America shows higher satisfaction rates.
Probably the most interesting finding of the survey is that interest in ESBs – which have been seen as the starting point for SOA architecture – is actually declining. While in 2009, 48% of respondents who had only made a single SOA purchase had an ESB. In 2010, that number dropped to 39%. According to Forrester analyst Randy Hefner, the shift of focus away from ESBs stems from the increasing similarity of SOA specialty products (like SOA management tools and SOA appliances) as well as a desire to make SOA simpler and stronger.