While some others run from the SOA tag, services pioneer Software AG continues to push hard on the SOA front – But it is also a primer player in the general middleware field as well.
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These dual sides of integration – one in which SOA is prominent, the other in which SOA may be incidental or less-than-incidental – each are represented by their own Gartner Magic Quadrants. These Gartner quadrants are now being formed around project types, as well as product types.
The Gartner Magic Quadrant Gartner rates technology vendors on completeness of vision and ability to execute, and is much watched in software circles. It uses quadrants to graphically represent leaders in a specific niche and time frame.
Gartner has a Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic SOA-Style Application Projects and a Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic Application Integration Projects. The difference is a difference in focus. SOA is a fundamentally different view.
“What SOA has done is it has changed the focus. Systems have to work together, but how they are tied together has more to do with how the business uses them together as a business capability,” said Jignesh Shah, VP of Business Infrastructure Products and Solutions, Software AG. When you start creating true software services, you can tie them together in more efficient ways, Shah said.
He noted that Software AG appears as a leader in both the Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic SOA-Style Application Projects and a Magic Quadrant for Application Infrastructure for Systematic Application Integration Projects.
The difference in focus is often manifested in an interest in governance. Shah insisted SOA governance remains the big SOA differentiator.
“If you look at [the two styles of integration Gartner describes] from a technical point of view, the big difference is governance,” said Shah. “Because you are trying to create capabilities that span multiple applications and teams, and which are repeatable, governance becomes important.” Expect continued aggressive investment in SOA capabilities at Software AG, as well as additional attention to Master Data Management (MDM) for SOA and operational BI.