IBM's SOA Foundation is said to be an, "integrated, open-standards-based set of software, best practices and patterns for Service Oriented Architecture." Yet products in the Foundation come from its Rational, WebSphere, Lotus and Tivoli software groups, and competitors like to argue that while IBM indubitably has breadth in SOA, it lacks an integrated suite of products.
While Carter argued that integration between the products in the SOA Foundation is, "already as tight as any of our competitors", she conceded: "Is everything in the SOA Foundation integrated? Everything is not."
"Do we have some gaps?" Carter continued. "Yep, but we know what they are and we are working on them." Asked whether IBM will come out with a SOA suite, she said: "You will see us more tightly integrate the SOA Foundation, and maybe more."
Indeed one of the reasons that Carter's role as IBM's SOA head was created in September of last year, was to have a single point of contact to ensure integration and interoperability between the many products that it believes are required to underpin SOA projects.
Carter said that IBM's CEO Sam Palmisano has issued what she called a "double-down bet" on SOA, making it a key strategic objective for the company. She said it also means she has a budget of $1bn to spend on SOA R&D each year, and the firm has established a channel of 2,500 partners who can help with customers' SOA projects, as well as dedicated SOA sales teams.
There are 28 products in all under IBM's SOA Foundation. These go from the Rational Software Architect and WebSphere Business Modeler for modeling business services, through WebSphere Integration Developer to assemble those services.
In the deployment phase products suggested include WebSphere Process Server and WebSphere ESB, and finally at the management phase products include WebSphere Business Monitor, Tivoli Composite Application Manager for SOA and Tivoli's Access and Indentity Manager products.
By Jason Stamper
Computer Business Review Online