Gartner's latest assessment of the SOA Governance market is out, because I noticed several press releases from vendors touting their position in the mythical Magic Quadrant.
I'm not sure why it's called the Magic Quadrant, but if you live under a rock, that's basically Gartner's gimmick for evaluating various technology offerings.
Products are ranked along a continuum of ability to execute and completeness of vision into quadrants labeled "Leaders," "Challengers," "Visionaries" and "Niche Players." The report also lists each vendor's strengths and cautions you about weakness. It's an excellent resource for sorting through this confusing field.
As it turned out, Gartner published the report Dec. 31, but for some reason, the press releases about it are just now circulating. I can't figure out why Gartner doesn't issue its own release about these Magic Quadrant publications -- seriously, they can't sell many of them, since some vendor or another always makes the report available for free anyway.
Sure enough, SoftwareAG is offering the report online, which makes sense, since Gartner positioned SoftwareAG nicely in the Leader quadrant, at the farthest position of "completeness of vision" and in the third-highest spot for "ability to execute." Only IBM and HP ranked higher. I didn't even know HP had a SOA Governance offering -- but apparently I'm not the only clueless one, since Gartner noted that the platform-neutral solution's position was at risk due to a lack of "strong HP marketing."
Amberpoint, Progress Software and SOA Software rounded out the Leader quadrant. Microsoft was the only listed "Challenger," while Sun and CA ranked as "Niche Players." Everybody else crowded into the "Visionaries" quadrant.
The full report is listed as 18 pages long, at a cost of nearly $2,000. You can find it here.
Or, you can read the free, 10-page version.
Here's a round-up of other integration-related news from this week: SAP and Business Objects Offer Data Integration, Master Data packages. Back in October, SAP bought Business Objects for a sweet $6.7 billion. This week, the companies announced the first offspring of that union, including a data integration and quality management package and a master data services package. The companies announced nine new offerings in all, according to internetnews.com.
The data integration and quality management package targets enterprise-class organizations and will "manage and clean data from both SAP and non-SAP sources," according to a press release. The Master Data Services package, obviously, can be used to centrally manage and consolidate data and targets global organizations. Three of the nine offerings are designed for small and mid-sized companies, including a package that combines SAP's Business One with Business Object's Crystal Reports Server.
Want to learn more about Master Data Management? Oliver Wight Americas, Inc., is offering a course on Master Data Integrity. Oliver Wight is an education and consulting organization specializing in offerings for the manufacturing industry. The company has developed a master data methodology called Proven Path, which can also be applied to data management integrity processes, according to the press release.
The course is for managers and those who deal with ERP data management and business information. It will explain the purpose of master data and look at engineering change management control process. So far, it will be held in Raleigh, North Carolina, March 4-5; Chicago, Illinois, May 6-7; and Toronto, Ontario, Canada, September 16-17. GT Software's new release of Ivory Service Architecture offers enhanced capabilities for finding and alerting IT when Web services within a SOA fail. Version 3.6 of Ivory also includes nested array support, which allows you to automate moving data between "COBOL programs that leverage multi-dimensional (nested) arrays and their corresponding XML/SOAP elements," says the press release. Apparently, this will make your life easier by shortening development time and making the diagrams more understandable. Finally, the company announced that Ivory Studio is certificated to work with Microsoft's .NET Framework 2.0 and Windows Vista.
Mindreef adds SOA testing capability. InfoWorld reports that Mindreef added testing for XML and services to version 6.1 of its SOAPscope Server.