Aqualogic vs. Oracle Shoot-out (Oracle Mix Winning Session)

I went to the presentation of Lonneke and Ronald regarding AquaLogic vs. Oracle, which was a really great presentation with a good overview and an objective comparison of both environments.

This mix session was 1 of the winning sessions for Oracle Open World and it’s a hot topic nowadays of course.

What were the tools that were compared:

  • Oracle BPA/Oracle BPEL PM vs. BEA ALBPM
  • Oracle ESB vs. BEA ALSB

One of the first tips Lonneke has discussed was how to govern such a SOA Project using waterfall approach or not. She mentioned that bottom-up and top-down should be combined instead of sticking with one of both methodologies because when choosing one you would either have a load of services that weren’t used, or a combined service with not enough granularity.

You need to think about an Enterprise Model, once you’ve defined that model, the high level architecture, you can start going into the business processes itself and the description of all the artefacts.

Trying to rush your business process analysis without a firm understanding of the enterprise model will spare you a lot of rework and of course a firm approach for as well the business as it department.

The comparison which was made by them, is put in their presentation slides, which will be made available by Oracle.

The main points I’ve written down (which maybe aren’t all documented in the presentation).

Enterprise Architecture:

  • Strength of Oracle BPA Suite: A Complete Architecture Tool for as well design as simulation as monitoring as execution (but for monitoring you need to use BAM (real-time monitoring on in-flight processes) and for execution you need BPEL (round tripping is supported)
  • Weaknesses of Oracle BPA Suite: Representation of process in BPA and BPEL is different, you have a logical model of your process in BPMN and an execution model in BPEL, these don’t match 1-on-1 (one could argue if this is really what you want because you’re talking about 2 separate standards, one for modelling purposes and one for execution purposes)
  • Strength of AL BPM: 1 representation of business process and execution is support by the runtime engine which trully gives you 1 view.
  • Weaknesses of AL BPM: BPMN Spec isn’t fully supported, AL uses proprietary coding and uses some sort of templating to put another flavor on your process model (uml view, bpmn view, …) + no abstraction available between system centric and human centric activities (kpi’s) + no optimization of your business process possible because you don’t have a context within your business process

Composite Services:

  • Strengths of Oracle ESB (rebranded to Oracle Service Bus = OSB): Usage of JCA + adapters being provided (no ability for enrichment in a declarative way)
  • Weaknesses of OSB: No native support for resource management (e.g. centralized XSD)
  • Strengths of ALSB: Use a logical name for an XSD and not a physical location (let’s you use a central repository for all your definitions) + ability to define generic transformations which can be used within different composite services
  • Weaknesses of ALSB: only runs on Weblogic + adapters are technology driven and JCA isn’t provided

I would really like to thank Ronald and Lonneke for the great presentation and the different demo’s they provided during the session. I’m sure this session was of great value for many customers struggling with the very hot topic right now: what to choose ;o)