Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Oracle SOA Suite vs TIBCO SOA – Why ORACLE Wins??

SOA Suite vs TIBCO SOA – Why ORACLE Wins??
1. The foundation of TIBCO's SOA technologies is ActiveMatrix set of technologies, anchored by Active Matrix BusinessWorks. TIBCO’s messaging system also plays in many SOA related deals, and consists of Rendezvous, a proprietary messaging system, and TIBCO EMS, which includes JMS support. TIBCO’s ActiveMatrix platform is very new and unproven in the integration space. There are likely fewer than 100 customers for products running on ActiveMatrix. Note that there are about 2,000 customers of Oracle BPEL PM.
2. TIBCO has two separate products that can be classified in the ESB space: ActiveMatrix Service Bus and ActiveMatrix BusinessWorks. There is no real upgrade path (i.e. one is not a subset of the other). This is problematic for users starting out with the lower cost ActiveMatrix Service Bus and upgrading. Both require the installation of the ActiveMatrix Service Grid, a proprietary set of containers that essentially provides similar services to Java containers. Please note this caution from Gartner: “ActiveMatrix is new (as compared with Java EE application servers), and does not have the track record of competing infrastructure products.”
3. Both ACTIVEMATRIX Service Bus and ACTIVEMATRIX BusinessWorks require the installation of the proprietary Rendezvous messaging system.
4. Service Grid is non-J2EE-based, so must set up duplicate distributed failover/clustering or interact with third party products.
5. ACTIVEMATRIX Service Bus provides basic mediation and routing, and transformation: there is no orchestration tool.
6. ACTIVEMATRIX Service Bus also lacks large-scale references and implementations at the present time.
7. ACTIVEMATRIX Service Bus does not have dynamic configuration capabilities: users must redesign and redeploy.
8. ACTIVEMATRIX BusinessWorks still has its own interface, and is not yet fully unified with BusinessStudio, TIBCO’s planned unifying development interface.
9. Models built with BusinessStudio cannot be implemented on BusinessWorks.
10. ACTIVEMATRIX BusinessWorks has problematic BPEL. TIBCO advertises BPEL support in BusinessWorks 5.7, however it is achieved in an unusual way. While TIBCO can run BPEL code, it creates “BPEL pallets,” which are compiled after constructing a process. However, the previous proprietary BUSINESSWORKS workflow is still supported as an option. This means TIBCO maintains dual infrastructures. Also, translation could have an effect on performance.
11. No references for BPEL use, as most users are using proprietary BUSINESSWORKS orchestration.
12. ACTIVEMATRIX BusinessWorks provides an older, heavyweight, “pre-SOA” EAI, integration broker style architecture. This is essentially unchanged with version 5.8, which runs on ACTIVEMATRIX. While services are supported, it lacks the kind of explicitly pre-built features such as service monitoring, throttling, and other items that pre suppose a services environment. This functionality and approach is present in Oracle Service Bus.
13. Oracle's Service Bus includes significant ease of use and configuration features for an ESB, including Web-based configuration, built in service monitoring, and “throttling,” not present in the heavyweight TIBCO ACTIVEMATRIX BusinessWorks or the still immature ActiveMatrix Service Bus product.
14. Oracle has a suite-based approach for SOA/integration, with numerous points of integration between the components of the suite and a single runtime. Oracle's suite-based product includes common installation, management and development tools, bringing down management costs. TIBCO, by comparison, does not have a suite-based approach, but instead promotes an EAI style Integrator Broker (BusinessWorks), and associated products that are sold separately. Even the various elements of ActiveMatrix are sold separately, and often have redundant tooling.
15. Oracle’s products are based on Java standards and run on a standards-based Java application server. TIBCO’s runtime and development technologies are non-Java and in fact, TIBCO promotes its ActiveMatrix proprietary container as the underlying platform.
16. Oracle’s SOA products have a foundation in WebLogic application infrastructure. This provides high end clustering, and availability, as well as advanced features such as Application Grid. TIBCO is not based on application server based clustering or availability.
17. TIBCO is missing key elements needed for integration/SOA, including a full-fledged IDE for service creation (instead it offers Eclipse plug-ins), an application server runtime, and an IDM product. In other areas, such as Rules and BAM, it has a weak solution with little presence among customers.
18. Oracle has a full range of security and authentication options, including services security (OWSM), and user based security and IDM. TIBCO has poor message based security and no real IDM.
19. Oracle has first rate tools for SOA management, available through the SOA Management Pack Plus. This includes gateway based tools to manage heterogeneous SOAs through the AmberPoint products (Amberpoint was bought by Oracle last year), services security, dependency/topology, and QoS. Currently TIBCO has a mashup of three different products for SOA Management, including portions of the AmberPoint product.
20. Oracle has first rate SOA governance technology, including a repository that is tightly linked with Oracle’s SOA integration products. TIBCO OEMs portions of this from HP and has poor integration with its own SOA integration technologies.
21. Oracle includes a strong standards-based (BPEL) process based integration solution with BPEL PM, that can run independently on different platforms and form the basis of an SOA integration solution, or as infrastructure for BPM or what some analyst term “composite applications.” TIBCO has no such independent process solution: customers must install the full integration broker; ACTIVEMATRIX BusinessWorks, or use the 1.0 ACTIVEMATRIX BPM product.
22. Oracle includes a full range of JCA based adapters (400 plus), including mainframe adapters. TIBCO has a smaller subset of proprietary adapters not based JCA.
23. TIBCO entails a very high cost for similar functionality, especially in ESB space. Note Oracle includes B2B, ESB, BPEL, SOA management, BAM, CEP, Java IDE and rules in core suite.
24. Oracle has deeper integration with Oracle applications today (eBiz, CC&B, WAM, etc) and will have deep integration with Fusion applications as they are released in the future.


  1. Some corrections are in order:
    "Both ACTIVEMATRIX Service Bus and ACTIVEMATRIX BusinessWorks require the installation of the proprietary Rendezvous messaging system." - This is incorrect. You do not need to use the Rendezvous protocol with either product.

    For BusinessWorks you state "While services are supported, it lacks the kind of explicitly pre-built features such as service monitoring, throttling, and other items that pre suppose a services environment." This is provided by ActiveMatrix service performance monitor. If you embed a BW deployment in ActiveMatrix, you will get this feature.

    "TIBCO is not based on application server based clustering or availability." Yes, it does not use J2EE for this, but it still provides high availability and load balancing using the grid.

    "In other areas, such as Rules and BAM, it has a weak solution with little presence among customers." For rules, you have TIBCO BusinessEvents, and for BAM, you have ActiveMatrix Service Performance Monitor as well as TIBCO Spotfire.

    Points I would agree on is that TIBCO has a weak SOA governance solution, and did not implement BPEL properly. As for Amberpoint, TIBCO recently replaced that with their own solution.

  2. Great article! Your readers may also find real user reviews for Oracle SOA Suite, TIBCO and all the other major SOA governance tools on IT Central Station to be helpful:

    As an example, this Enterprise Integration Architect writes in his Oracle SOA Suite review, "It has allowed us to build integrations using an enterprise-class platform. It has also meant that we have been able to purchase prebuilt integrations from Oracle for their products, meaning we have been able to focus largely on our own solutions." You can read the rest of his review here: