Software // Information Management
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6/5/2007
09:09 AM
Mark Smith
Mark Smith
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Do BI Vendors Want SOA Now?

It was interesting to see at IBM's recent Impact 2007 event on service-oriented architecture (SOA) that the only business intelligence (BI) vendor exhibiting to demonstrate interfaces to IBM's SOA technology was Actuate… Few BI vendors have been motivated to go beyond the fundamentals; the BI market seems a little insulated from the SOA and enterprise architecture transformations.

It was interesting to see at IBM's recent Impact 2007 event on service-oriented architecture (SOA) that the only business intelligence (BI) vendor exhibiting to demonstrate interfaces to IBM's SOA technology was Actuate. We know that other BI vendors also are evolving their platforms to support Web services and XML, along with some other advancements in the service-oriented direction. But few have been motivated to go beyond the fundamentals; the BI market seems a little insulated from the SOA and enterprise architecture transformations.Ventana Research completed a major study on SOA and BI last fall, and we found organizations service-enabling their BI technology stack, but most are not yet fully engaged in this paradigm. To sell new deployments to business users, the BI industry has to make it simpler to access and analyze data, to collaborate and to make business decisions. There is less demand for BI vendors to add architectural support for SOA, so it will be probably be late in undergoing that transformation.

Is this good? I am not sure, but as long as customers don't make it a major requirement, the vendors seem to be thinking, why rock the boat? BI has a strong appeal to both business and IT people, and while architecture and reuse of interfaces and application components is important for large deployments, it is not as crucial as it will be once BI is more pervasive in the enterprise. For now, if you want more SOA in BI, you will have to ask for it. And if you want interoperability of SOA across vendors, you will have to ask very loudly for that.

Let me know your thoughts.

Mark Smith is CEO And Senior Vice President of Research at Ventana Research. Write to him at mark.smith@ventanaresearch.com.It was interesting to see at IBM's recent Impact 2007 event on service-oriented architecture (SOA) that the only business intelligence (BI) vendor exhibiting to demonstrate interfaces to IBM's SOA technology was Actuate… Few BI vendors have been motivated to go beyond the fundamentals; the BI market seems a little insulated from the SOA and enterprise architecture transformations.

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