The recession and the need for cost optimization, combined with the market’s need of service-oriented architecture in 2008 and the “cover your back” mentality, have caused many companies to rethink the importance they give to SOA governance and related technologies.
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) governance technologies, much like any other set of technologies, are striving to address needs beyond the SOA realm. Process governance, governing cloud interactions and interactions with business partners (brokerages) are on the radar for most technology providers. Getting the basics correct is a necessity, but these technologies will likely be used to govern peripheral activities.
The market for SOA governance technologies is still in turmoil, with acquisitions, mergers, new players, and (most importantly) the dramatic maturation of companies procuring and deploying SOA infrastructure and SOA governance technologies. In creating the 2009 Magic Quadrant for Integrated SOA Governance Technology Sets, we immediately noticed a dramatic shift of all the participants toward the median of the quadrant. When assigning vendor weightings for this Magic Quadrant, we detected, via our analysis, client interactions and vendor briefings, maturity of the market. A few key data points became very apparent:
- Customers are no longer looking for just a registry; instead, they were looking for a suite of projects.
- A growing percentage of customers are including SOA governance technologies in their initial SOA projects.
- Customers and technology providers are putting more emphasis on SOA validation and monitoring; the latter is seen as critical to monitoring metrics and measuring success.
- Customers are deploying SOA centers of excellence, supported by the architecture group and empowered by the CIO.
- Customers are looking for solutions to easily integrate with their SOA and integration platforms.
- Customers are looking to govern their interactions with business partners and services provided via the cloud.
However, it’s not just the market shifting. A few new players have entered the market that represent various niches of customer wants and needs, focused on life cycle management, monitoring and policy enforcement. Vendors that offer some or most of this functionality include:
- Sonoa Systems
In addition, some vendors from the 2008 Magic Quadrant were acquired, and, as a result, the acquiring company has entered this market. Oracle, which acquired BEA Systems in 2008, is now a player in this space. An impressive number of acquisitions have taken place, with vendors in this market acquiring vendors in markets peripheral to the SOA governance technology market. Examples include:
- Oracle acquiring ClearApp
- SOA Software acquiring LogicLibrary
- Progress Software acquiring Mindreef
These acquisitions highlight the vendors’ acknowledgement that monitoring, validation and life cycle management are core to SOA governance.
The job of integrating SOA governance among disparate domains remains complex, because, although obtaining SOA governance technologies from your installed middleware vendor may be less expensive than from a third-party vendor (in many cases, new technology licenses can be combined with existing ones), ensuring that the technology supports heterogeneous environments is essential. Interoperability can sometimes be difficult, and SOA governance standards and specifications are immature in some areas, such as WS-Federation (WS-FED), and nonexistent in others (governance interoperability). Ensuring that your vendor participates in some governance interoperability specification can help ease deployments, especially in best-of-breed situations, where appropriateness can no longer be ignored.
As the SOA governance market matured in 2008, organizations that had been new to the market began to gain a new level of sophistication in the understanding of organizational requirements and vision for SOA deployments. Still, the market for SOA governance is a varied one, with many different types of products providing support for governing the behavior of an SOA. SOA governance is about ensuring and validating that assets and artifacts within the architecture are operating as expected and maintaining a certain level of quality. Now in its second year, this Magic Quadrant reduces the market to one set of technologies with strong architectural cohesion (integration), promoting ease of use and the interoperability of products. This integration includes the idea that multiple personas will be involved in governing an SOA. Each of these personas will bring a different perspective to the process of performing different kinds of tasks. However, all these tasks must be part of a unified governance effort, instead of a different, but related, effort.
To read and download the full report – click here.