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Sonic Software SOA Suite 6.1

In November we began our quest to find the ultimate ESB (enterprise service bus) suite by issuing an invitation to a dozen vendors. Eight took us up on our challenge and sent software to our Green Bay, Wis., business applications lab, home of our fictional widget maker, NWC Inc.
Over the ensuing weeks, we posted regular updates from Lori MacVittie in NWC's Real-World Labs. We also made available our vendor invites, test plan and other materials from the testing process. Next week rolled out the individual product evaluations from our ESB vendor participants, including BEA, Cape Clear, Fiorano, IBM, Oracle, Sonic Software, Software AG and TIBCO.
Now, see the final results as we reveal our Editor's Choice winner and post our market analysis and Interactive Report Card so you can build your own ESB shortlist.

Sonic Software SOA Suite 6.1 Sonic Software's SOA Suite is an evolutionary step on the integration ladder, building on the messaging expertise acquired over years from Sonic's presence in the messaging market. Unfortunately, its heavy reliance on messaging terminology and architecture has led to the creation of an SOA suite that isn't nearly as SOA-oriented as it is queuing-oriented.

Sonic excelled in areas in which messaging expertise could be parleyed into an advantage--routing and messaging protocol support, for example. The standalone, J2EE-based Sonic SOA Suite comprises a limited number of moving parts. Sonic relies on its messaging bus, SonicMQ, for its SOA Suite's backbone, using multipart messages transported over JMS to move messages along the bus. Management is accomplished over JMX, as it is with Fiorano's product, but Sonic has done a much better job of hiding the complexity and ugliness of JMX (Java Management Extensions) behind its user interface.

Sonic Management Console

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Sonic's SOA Suite supports the SOA paradigm by turning everything into services on the bus and routing messages to services according to orchestrations. We often found ourselves scratching our heads in the service-creation areas as we tried to understand the relationship between entry and exit points on the bus and the definition of a service. Messages come in an entry point and leave on an exit point. No relationship other than that. Fine for JMS, odd in an SOA world.

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