Boy, that must have stretched the guys at Hursley Park

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Boy, that must have stretched the guys at Hursley Park

Microsofties continue to damn break their arms patting themselves on the back for not selling an enterprise service bus (ESB). Rich Turner goes at it here : SOA, ESB and Microsoft's refusal to blindly adopt nefarious terminology.

He quicky leaps into a strawman, claiming Microsoft is different from those bad people that sell "a SOA". I don't know of any middleware vendor that claims to sell "a SOA". Tools for building SOAs, sure, but noone is claiming they provide "a SOA". If you disagree Rich, why not point to one?

I agree service orientation is a useful way to think about some of the disciplines that underpin more effective IT and service reuse.  But trust Microsoft to drop "architecture"... I tend to think an architectural approach is not an optional extra in delivering value across the services exposed through service orientation, but maybe that's just me.

Why am I posting this on the mainframe blog? Because of this statement from the blog in question:

Take IBM's ESB for example. The first characteristic that they mandate for an ESB is that it must be standards based. What is their message broker based on? MQSeries? Is MQ standards based? No - it's entirely proprietary! So how do they claim it's standards based? They've added a SOAP gateway to MQSeries and called it Message Broker! Boy, that must have stretched the guys at Hursley Park.

Given that my recent Hursley Warm Beer and mainframe SOA posts generated a little commentary I figured I would keep the triangulation going. Surely someone out there feels like addressing Rich's comments?

What is traditional ESB? That is what they do at Hursley, isn't it? What do you think?

IBM has 20k MQSeries customers. Many of them have built service-oriented architectures on that messaging foundation. From that perspective it has a significant lead in service-orientation, let alone SOA or ESB.

Rich's post also relies on the common fallacy that Microsoft technology installs itself somehow, that problems are solved by magic:

We'd much rather work to help understand a custmer's requirements and objectives and help the customer implement a solution that satisfies all the requirements rather than try to confuse them to the point that they give up and resignedly hire a legion of consultants to do for them what they could do for themselves.

Who is this "we"? Either you're working on requirements, objects and discipline or you are not. Doing so requires bodies, not just products. "Do for themselves"? What - Avenade and Accenture aren't part of the MS delivery mechanism...

The market is confused, to Rich's point. And people with solid architectural skills are in short supply.

So Hursley folks - stretched or not? ESB or not. SOA or not? Does architecture matter?

IBM makes it abundantly clear in its marketing that SOA is hard, that it is not a silver bullet you can drop in to solve all known integration problems. SOA requires education, application refactoring, data and process modeling, and a lot of hard things that don't fit a packaged software model.

Who is it selling an ESB again? 

by James Governor December 8, 2005


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» On SOA requires people, Hursley and Indigo's magic beans from James Governor's MonkChips
I posted a response to Microsoft'sRich Turneroverat the mainframeblog.I posted it there because it included a jibe at Hursley.We know you're on the road to Indigo, Rich,but service orientation doesnt happen without p... [Read More]

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Tracked on Dec 13, 2005 4:08:47 PM


Yes... Hursley IS ESB...

I'm working on my colleagues.... it's my mission to get more of them posting outside the firewall :-)

Posted by: Richard G Brown | Dec 8, 2005 4:25:40 PM

Rich from Microsoft is being naughty and picked an old URL.
We announced our ESB product in September, this is the proper URL
and yes it's standards based, but also includes MQ. Click on Features and Benefits.
...and for James it's coming rsn to z.
Our Broker v6 goes further and supports the same and industry defacto standards.
The whole SOA story from IBM is here
Didn't seem worth replying to really but I bit :-)

Posted by: Harry Alton | Dec 8, 2005 6:05:03 PM

biting is good. you may know the facts, but you cant assume the market does. MS is a skilled street fighter when it comes to perception-based marketing. You need to step up to that.

Posted by: james governor | Dec 9, 2005 5:37:04 AM

Hey James. Thanks for reading and responding to my post. I've posted a (admittedly long-winded) reply (sorry!) to your comments above. Looking forward to your response :)

Posted by: Rich Turner | Dec 13, 2005 4:13:45 PM

Microsoft also likes to claim to be "helping the customer" but different groups within Microsoft have certainly different views about what that means. I met a product manager for Host Integration Server at SHARE who has been quite helpful; on the other hand when we were migrating from the MVS flavor of OfficeVision the view of the people from Exchange was basically "you do it THIS way, don't bother us with how you WANT it to work".

Posted by: Tim | Jan 14, 2006 2:11:50 AM

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