BEA Unveils SOA Readiness Tool, Expands SOA Practice

BEA's Service-Oriented Architecture Readiness Self-Assessment tool assesses the maturity of enterprises' systems in regard to implementing SOAs.

BEA Systems Inc. Thursday announced a new service-oriented architecture readiness tool and an expanded SOA consulting practice.

The San Jose, Calif., company announced its BEA Service-Oriented Architecture Readiness Self-Assessment tool, which enables enterprises to assess the maturity of their systems in regard to implementing SOAs, the company said.

The SOA Readiness Self-Assessment tool is based on BEAs SOA Domain Methodology, which keys on six primary areas of SOA implementation to check an enterprises maturity level, the company said. These areas are business process and strategy, architecture, building blocks, projects and applications, costs and benefits, and organization and governance.

Meanwhile, BEA announced the expansion of its SOA practice and named Bruce Graham, formerly a founding partner of Dallas-based IT consultancy Feld Group, as its new vice president of worldwide professional services, which includes the SOA practice. Electronic Data Systems Corp. acquired the Feld Group for $89 million last month.

The SOA practice features consulting and education services and a team of service providers that will take customers through SOA exploration, including use of the BEA SOA self-assessment tool; SOA planning and design; and SOA implementation.

Ironically, BEAs archrival, IBM, Wednesday announced its own SOA service initiative, known as Service Oriented Modeling and Architecture, or SOMA.

/zimages/6/28571.gifTo read more about IBMs SOMA, click here.

Although some observers said they see BEAs move as promising, they also questioned whether BEA will be able to deliver.

"On the face of it, its great that BEA finally realizes that SOA isnt a purely technology problem," said Ronald Schmelzer, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, of Waltham, Mass. "You cant simply provide technology and hope to solve companies problems, since SOA cant be delivered solely by products or configuration wizards. Rather, SOA is a discipline and architectural approach that also requires best practices."

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