The Forrester Wave™: Enterprise Service Bus, Q4 2005

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) is hot. And as today's primary entry point for SOA, the emerging enterprise service bus (ESB) market is heating up, too. For example, within the last few months two major application platform vendors, BEA Systems and IBM, formally entered the ESB market, legitimizing the concept for many potential buyers. To assess the state of the ESB market and see how the vendors stack up against each other, Forrester evaluated the strengths and weaknesses of top ESB vendors using 100 criteria. The result: The market has two segments, with different leaders in each. The ESB suites segment is led by Cape Clear Software, Fiorano Software, BEA Systems, and Sonic Software, whereas the comprehensive ESB suites segment is led by Oracle, TIBCO, and Sun Microsystems.

The analysis that led to this view of market segmentation was based on customer interviews, which led us to group ESB buyers in two groups:

* The "keep it simple" group wants simple and low-cost integration, support for service orchestration, and the core of future support for managing services through their full life cycle.

* The "I want it all now" group wants ESB capabilities in the context of their leading application or integration platform, combined with richer service life-cycle support, and BPM capabilities needed to support business transformation.

Both groups want full support for SOA and a wholehearted embrace of open industry standards.
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