There are really three categories of companies offering SOA solutions today:
- Companies that have some product, but are primarily services companies that hand-build custom solutions on their frameworks
- Companies that have toolkit products, which you can use as the foundation for hand-built custom solutions
- Companies that have products that directly address solution areas with little or no custom development
You will find vendors that are having success in each of these categories. Of course, it's relatively hard for a vendor to successfully transition across these areas, since the design trade-offs (which are baked-in, up-front and fundamental to the products) are very different. As a customer looking at the market, the first choice you need to make is what category of vendor you want to work with. Once you've made this determination, you need to then decide which companies fit into this category (since it's not always obvious) and how well the vendors in this category fit your current and projected needs.
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