Yesterday, I shared a report from eWEEK predicting that Oracle would announce a new SOA strategy by the end of the day. And sure enough, President Chuck Phillips did just that at the Oracle User Group Conference, Collaborate 2007.
The so-called Project X now has a real title: Application Integration Architecture, or AIA, for those who favor acronyms. AIA will allow Oracle and others to merge functions from Oracle E-Business, PeopleSoft, Siebel and JD Edwards, creating new, custom-tailored services.
For its first process, Oracle targeted integrating Siebel's CRM with the Oracle E-Business Suite. Further business services, or Process Integration Packs, as Oracle calls them, are in the works. (Does it violate some sort of unknown physical law for anybody in tech to use the same name for the same functionality -- even once?)
So far, the analysts are happy with AIA, particularly on the subject of integration. One Burton Group analyst even went so far as to describe AIA as "brilliant." The analyst added that this should help large enterprises using Oracle or one of its acquired solutions with application integration efforts.
Oracle insists AIA does not substitute for, replace or any way overshadow its Fusion Applications, which are still on schedule for release next year.
More PIPs are in the works, of course, with the first verticals planned for financial services, high-tech manufacturing and telecommunications, among others.
Customers can also create new processes or plug in third-party applications. However, to use Fusion Middleware's BPM tools, you'll need a full license for Oracle's SOA Suite.
What's your take? Is this a major step toward cross-platform enterprise integeration via SOA? Or will Oracle's market need to lock down clients into its offerings triumph in the end?