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ESB: Wave of the Future

In November, Forrester Research issued a Forrester Wave evaluating ESB (enterprise service bus) offerings from BEA Systems, Cape Clear, Fiorano Software, Iona Technologies, Oracle, Polar Lake, Sonic Software, Sun, Tibco and WebMethods. The analyst firm judged products and vendors on approximately 100 criteria, which were grouped into three high-level decision areas. Evaluations were based on vendor surveys; product briefings, where vendors discussed their visions and product strategy; and discussions with reference customers.

First, consider the vendor's current offering. Three main areas where products must excel are support for messaging and connectivity (connection), mediation, and change and control management. If a product fills your needs in these areas, move on to vendor evaluation. What partnerships has it formed, and doe sits corporate strategy make sense to you? Pricing considerations also fall into this area. As we all know, some vendors move off MSRP further than others, while charging extra for items included in a package price for products that sell closer to list.

Finally, market presence can provide clues to how well a vendor will work with you to support its products. While a low price can win some initial sales, enterprises value service for long-term partners.

The full Enterprise Service Bus Forrester Wave is available at www.forrester.com.