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InfoQ: TIBCO's ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks Emerges Winner In SOA TCO Study by PushToTest
http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/12/pushtotest-soa-study[12/6/2011 4:13:11 PM]

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TIBCO's ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks
Emerges Winner In SOA TCO Study by
Posted by Jeevak Kasarkod on Dec 01, 2011
Sections Development, Enterprise Architecture Topics SOA Platforms Tags Oracle , IBM , Tibco
PushToTest, makers of the TestMaker open source test tool, announced the results of a research
study that evaluates and compares the total cost of ownership of SOA development and deployment
solutions from IBM, Oracle and TIBCO in a paper titled
"The Composition Approach for Large-Scale
SOA". TIBCO was declared the leading solution on multiple aspects including total cost of ownership.
InfoQ spoke with Frank Cohen, CEO and Founder of PushToTest, on the underlying mechanics of the
InfoQ: What is the motivation to perform a TCO study on SOA stacks and offer support
on a kit of collaterals for the community?
As a community leader in the IT industry I keep looking for an expert source that provides
software architects and developers with a way to understand SOA development platforms for
interoperability, developer productivity and performance. PushToTest is working for medium and
large organizations to define a standard SOA application blueprint to surface interoperability,
performance and deliver problems. Adoption of these practices will help PushToTest profitably
deliver the knowledge, test tools like TestMaker, and support services to organizations. The SOA
Knowledge Kit is the defacto standard at Best Buy, PepsiCo, Deloitte, and 30 other companies.
By urging the standards bodies (OMG, OASIS, W3C, IETF) to adopt these practices I hope to
help the IT industry to deliver a more reliable world. PushToTest's work on the Kit appears in
the OASIS SOA Blueprints project. http://tinyurl.com/85tsbal. We maintain that work and others.
We initially published the SOA Knowledge Kit in 2008. I chose the Oracle, IBM, and TIBCO
stacks since they provide SOA development and deployment platforms. In 2009 we added JBoss
to the Kit. We hope to add other SOA platforms, including Mule, in the near future. The current
work updates the Kit to the latest versions: IBM WebSphere Integration Developer V7.0, TIBCO
ActiveMatrix SOA Product Suite 3.13, and Oracle SOA Suite 11gR1 (
InfoQ: What was the team composition on this project? Can you tell us the average
engineer's prior experience with each of the stacks and with web services development
and orchestration in general?
PushToTest used 2 engineering teams to implement the SOA Knowledge Kit. Each team has 1
architect with 5-8 years of experience building SOA, Rich Internet Applications (RIA, using Ajax,
Flex, Flash,) and Web applications, 2 engineers with 5 years of Java coding experience, and 1
project manager. The engineers have experience writing EJB's, SOAP and REST-based service
interfaces, mediation, orchestration, and workflow. Team A implemented the Oracle and TIBCO
projects. Team B implemented the IBM project. It took approximately 3-4 weeks to implement
the use case for each stack.
InfoQ: Were the same service patterns used to design and implement services on all the
stacks? Can you describe some challenges that were faced with implementing certain
service patterns on the individual stacks?
PushToTest defined a use case for a typical manufacturing organization. We implemented the
use case on TIBCO, Oracle, and IBM stacks. We then made changes to the implementation:
added HTTPS/SSL security, changed the message schema, and changed to an asynchronous
message delivery transport. We ran a functional test and a performance and scalability test of
the finished work. We document the use case and the developer's experiences and publish
everything under a free open source software GPL v2 license.
The manufacturing scenario use case implements a 3-step business flow.
1) The Allocate Purchase Order (PO) process opens a new PO. The implementation provides a
method through a SOAP interface accessed over HTTP protocols.
2) Reserve Parts using a service for warehouse just-in-time inventory control to reserve portions
of the inventory to meet the delivery needs defined in the purchase order. This is a Spring and
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InfoQ: TIBCO's ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks Emerges Winner In SOA TCO Study by PushToTest
http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/12/pushtotest-soa-study[12/6/2011 4:13:11 PM]
Data Access Object (DAO) service that receives a REST-encoded request over a JMS service
interface. The message conforms to the inventory control service's XML message schema. We
used the OAGIS organization's Business Object Document (BOD) schema. A Web page with Ajax
elements provides a human interface to request the service.
3) Price Purchase Order - uses a service to assign a price point to the purchase order based on
the current price catalog. The system prices products by simulating business functions on an
SAP installation and accessed through a simulation of SAP NetWeaver's SOAP Web Service
interface and security credential system. We built mock SOAP services using soapUI.
The engineers kept a Developer Journal of their experience on each stack. Each Journal is 60-80
pages long. The Journal contains our software engineer's instructions, comments, and opinions
to accomplish the use case implementation step-by-step. The Developer Journals describe
significant challenges on each stack and workarounds/solutions.
At a high level we found the following challenges implementing certain service patterns on the
individual stacks:
Oracle's stack provides quick solution creation for engineers. Everything in the Oracle stack
requires a code dive and manual adjustments to deployment descriptors, classpaths, and
general configuration. Oracle's tools are for developers - not for architects and business
analysts. There is little or no model driven approach to designing, building, and deploying SOA
applications in Oracle.
For engineers identifying the tools for the task using only the Oracle web site was easy. Oracle's
Quick Start Guide is straight forward and useful.
Nothing worked out-of-the-box. Everything required community support (especially of the BEA
components.) Most solutions came from workarounds found by third parties. For example, we
found many tutorials on Web Service creation on the Oracle site. The one we chose failed.
http://st-curriculum.oracle.com/obe/jdev/obe11jdev/ps1/webservices/ws.html#t5. We found
soapUI web service mocks can not be called from Oracle. JDeveloper throws a
WebServiceException: Error creating model from WSDL. We document this in the Developer
Other times we found multiple tutorials, some worked and others did not. For example, we
found a tutorial on building asynchronous services at
http://download.oracle.com/docs/cd/E17904_01/web.1111/e15184/asynch.htm#CBHECBFG. We
used annotations that are not available on the app server: @AsyncWebService and
@PortableWebService tags.
The IBM stack is several big platforms integrated together: WebSphere Application Server,
WebSphere Integration Developer (WID,) Rational Application Developer (RAD,) and WebSphere
Process Server (WPS.) IBM RAD is a 6 G download alone. The platforms have version issues:
WID 7.0 requires WAS 7.0 and RAD 8.0.3 requires WAS 8.0.3. You wind-up having to install
multiple versions of WAS to make their SOA stack work. The parts are enormous and often don't
play well together. For example, WebSphere Integration Developer (WID) gave us broken WSDL
document output.
We encountered many situations where we could not get 'there' from 'here.' For example, we
could not create a client for a service we built in WPS. WID refactoring could not handle simple
changes to namespace, name, and schema values. WID created corrupt WSDLS. RAD does not
have the capability to develop business processes. And, integration and process development
happen in different tools: WID and WPS.
The TIBCO SOA stack consists of modeling tools, component development tools, and service
grid deployment: ActiveMatrix Service Grid 3.13, BusinessWorks 5.9.2, Enterprise Message
Service EMS 6.0.1, Rendezvous RV 8.1, and BusinessWorks Studio (BS.)
The tools are model oriented. They keep a better control of code and abstract away the
underlying technologies. There is no need to look at code, just models with SOA Concepts. This
is great news for developers because they now have common tools to work with business
managers and software architects to model the service interfaces and workflow.
Code oriented developers without SOA knowledge will have a steep learning curve. The
documentation is abundant and quite good. Finding the right guide is hard. The surface-level
documentation on the TIBCO Web site often describes the functionality rather than showing how
to do things. The modeling language is a proprietary one, reducing intuitiveness. BW Studio is
an Eclipse Based IDE that will be familiar to many developers. Some concepts will be new, such
as Aysnchronous Services using JMS where some code oriented developers would expect to use
Message Driven Beans (MDB.) And, mediation flow was required to implement asynchronous
InfoQ: Can you shed some light on the functional and performance testing methodology
for the SOA app?
We applied Agile software development practices when building the Kit. We paired our
developers with testers and created unit tests as we built the services. Some unit tests were
Java JUnit tests that made class/method calls to object interfaces. Other tests were soapUI
TestSuites that made SOAP and REST calls to services. We used PushToTest TestMaker to
repurpose the tests as functional tests and load and performance tests. TestMaker deploys the
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InfoQ: TIBCO's ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks Emerges Winner In SOA TCO Study by PushToTest
http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/12/pushtotest-soa-study[12/6/2011 4:13:11 PM]
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tests to a grid of test servers in a QA lab and also to a cloud computing environment (Amazon
EC2, GoGrid, Collabnet, and Rackspace.) TestMaker produces a set of reports showing the root
cause to functional issues and performance bottlenecks.
The SOA Knowledge Kit comes with the tests we implemented and a copy of PushToTest
TestMaker. Rather than publish the performance results based on our available hardware, we
deliver the ability for anyone to run the tests in their own environment to prove out the
performance differences between each of the SOA stacks in their own data centers.
InfoQ: Can you share some details on the TCO model that was computed from
development effort?
did a time/motion analysis of each step of the services lifecycle to reveal the amount of time
and effort required to build, integrate, deploy and manage a range of services needed to
assemble a composite application. The goal of the study is to compare the cost savings that can
be achieved through greater developer productivity resulting in significantly reduced TCO. The
TCO model is a Open Office/MS Excel spreadsheet that assigns costs to each step of the Kits
development. The model comes with the Kit.
In side-by-side product implementations, TIBCO ActiveMatrix and BusinessWorks provided the
greatest productivity savings. TIBCO took 29 percent less time and development costs compared
to Oracle. TIBCO took 22 percent less compared to IBM.
InfoQ: Did you utilize SOA infrastructure capability such as repositories, ESBs and other
intermediaries from individual vendors as prescribed? Can you describe some of the high
level details?
We followed the published best practices from each of the stack vendors, including use of their
repositories, ESBs, and mediation services. For IBM that meant using: WebSphere Application
Server v8.0.3, IBM Rational Application Developer V8.0.3 Multiplatform Multilingual, IBM
Websphere Integration Developer V7.0, IBM Websphere Application Server V7.0 Multiplatform
Multilingual, and IBM Websphere test environment. For Oracle that meant using: Oracle SOA
Suite 11gR1 (, Oracle Database XE 10g, Oracle WebLogic Server 10.3.5,
Coherence, OEPE, Repository Creation Utility, SOA Suite (2 parts),
JDeveloper, and Oracle Service Bus And for TIBCO that meant: ActiveMatrix
Service Grid 3.13, BusinessWorks 5.9.2, Enterprise Message Service EMS 6.0.1, Rendezvous RV
8.1, TIBCO Runtime Agent 5.7.1, ActiveMatrix Sample Examples BWSE 5.9.2, Business Studio
(BS) VS, and Designer Design Time DABS 1.3.1.
InfoQ: What is the support plan for future versions of SOA stack solutions from the three
vendors: IBM, TIBCO and Oracle?
We plan to refresh the Kit for the Oracle, TIBCO and IBM stacks in 2012. That will give them
some more time to make major new releases. We are looking for the developer community
feedback to identify the additional stacks to add to the Kit. For example, we would like to add
Microsoft stacks (maybe BizTalk Server, ASP.net,) and more open source software projects.
Please let us know.
The SOA Knowledge Kit is available for free download at http://soakit.pushtotest.com
Watch Thread
Sort by date descending
by SOA nrrd Posted 02/12/2011 09:04
Re: Report
by Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi Posted 02/12/2011 01:56
Re: Report
by Frank Cohen Posted 02/12/2011 04:06
Re: Report
by Frank Cohen Posted 02/12/2011 04:07
Clarifications on conclusions around IBM stack used
by Andy Piper Posted 2 days ago
Re: Clarifications on conclusions around IBM stack used
by Frank Cohen Posted 24 hours ago
InfoQ: TIBCO's ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks Emerges Winner In SOA TCO Study by PushToTest
http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/12/pushtotest-soa-study[12/6/2011 4:13:11 PM]
Hi Jeevak,
The report quoted here is from February 2008. However, this article makes it seem like something
that PushToTest has recently released. Please post the latest one or do not link to such an old
Yes, looks like the link has to be updated. The latest report and test kit can be downloaded from
www.pushtotest.com/soa (free registration reqd)
Disclaimer: I work for TIBCO Software, one of the vendors evaluated in the Push To Test study
Hi Rajeev:
PushToTest released a refresh of the SOA Knowledge Kit last week with updates to the latest
platforms from IBM, TIBCO, and Oracle. It's entirely new and updated. The white paper I wrote on
the Composition Approach To Scalable Systems is from the original 2008 report because it still
applies to SOA development today.
The URL for the kit is
Sorry, I meant to address this to SOA nrrd (great handle by the way). -Frank
Hi - as you will see
from my website I work for IBM, but these comments are entirely my personal
views (albeit as an SOA practitioner for many years). I actually specialise in our integration products
WebSphere MQ and WebSphere Message Broker so I cannot say I'm a BPM expert, either.
In the slide deck you published on Slideshare you made a number of assertions about your teams'
use of the WebSphere products. In particular I'm baffled as to why you chose to use both
WebSphere Process Server 7.0 and WebSphere Application Server 8.0 when WPS is a superset of
WAS and could easily have run any service logic you decided to deploy to a separate WAS instance.
There was no real reason (that I can see) for using different versions.
In this article you also repeat the statement that
integration and process development happen in different tools: WID and WPS.
That's really not correct. WebSphere Integration Developer (WID) is an IDE for developing
WebSphere applications and business processes (NB it can now be combined with WebSphere
Lombardi in the BPM 7.5 product which you don't appear to have used). WPS is an application and
process runtime. The two, WID+WPS, work together and are not intended to be "different tools".
You can't develop anything in WPS, you develop in WID and deploy to WPS.
In the list of products at the end of this interview you go on to omit WPS altogether!
Needless to say, whilst I'm surprised by your conclusions I really cannot comment on offerings from
02/12/2011 09:04 by SOA nrrd
Re: Report
02/12/2011 01:56 by Rajeev Kozhikkattuthodi
Re: Report
02/12/2011 04:06 by Frank Cohen
Re: Report
02/12/2011 04:07 by Frank Cohen
Clarifications on conclusions around IBM stack used
2 days ago by Andy Piper
InfoQ: TIBCO's ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks Emerges Winner In SOA TCO Study by PushToTest
http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/12/pushtotest-soa-study[12/6/2011 4:13:11 PM]
other vendors. However, I would point out that there appear to be misunderstandings of the IBM
stack here, and that may well significantly skew the results.
Hi Andy:
Thanks for your feedback. Even though you say this is not your area of expertise I appreciate your
effort and comment.
Our method had a small team of engineers with a background in Web, App, SOA, and BPM
implement a use case on the IBM platform. We turned them loose on the IBM.com site and using
Google to find community and third party sites supporting IBM platform. We told them: No hand-
holding from the platform providers. You can only use solutions you find from published publicly
available information.
In this case the developers chose RAD as their first option and reported all the challenges that they
encountered with that. As you point out there are other ways, including development through WID
or avoiding preferrence through it. Had they chosen to do the development through WID you would
have had another set of entries in the Developer Journal on pros and cons. There is one path that
one developer needs to pick.
Your feedback to the SOA Knowledge Kit is welcome as a subjective opinion on the Kit and shows a
different point of view are there before starting any development. Also, the Kit highlights challenges
met for work performed on WID.
We distribute the Kit under an Open Source Software license to encourage you to do your own
implementation. The effort will show on a level playing field how your work supports IBM's claims
to being the best for developer productivity and performance.
Lastly, I wish we could have done this on WebSphere Lombardi 7.5. It was not available a few
months ago when we started this project. Would you be interested in implementing the Kit's use
case on 7.5? I would be happy to work with you and certify the results.
Re: Clarifications on conclusions around IBM stack used
24 hours ago by Frank Cohen
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InfoQ: TIBCO's ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks Emerges Winner In SOA TCO Study by PushToTest
http://www.infoq.com/news/2011/12/pushtotest-soa-study[12/6/2011 4:13:11 PM]
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