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March 29, 2005

Sonic attacks “legacy” Tibco

Following hot on the heels of ComputerWire's revelation that Tibco Software may come out with an enterprise service bus (ESB) marketed product, integration rival Sonic Software launched a program aimed at luring Tibco customers to its own ESB.

By CBR Staff Writer

Described as a service oriented architecture (SOA) conversion program, Sonic said it will, offer Tibco customers a competitive trade-up program aimed at accelerating their transition from inflexible and expensive integration platforms of the past to a SOA platform based on Sonic ESB.

Sonic Software is an independent operating company of Progress Software. Describing Tibco’s software as legacy EAI, Sonic said it will provide customers with Sonic SOA Suite licenses of equivalent capability to their currently deployed Tibco products, for a price equivalent to their Tibco maintenance.

Customers have paid multiple millions of dollars for enterprise licenses of Tibco products – with hundreds of thousands of dollars in annual maintenance fees, said Greg O’Connor, president of Sonic Software. However since Sonic’s promise is that it will charge customers a price equivalent to their Tibco maintenance, it seems Sonic is not actually offering Tibco customers lower cost integration. Sonic Software could not be contacted for further comment by press time.

But in a statement O’Connor added that, These customers are frustrated with the inadequate returns they have achieved with this traditional, centralized hub-and-spoke integration technology. Sonic provides flexible SOA infrastructure out of the box that is helping organizations accelerate their transition to enterprise-wide SOA, and significantly reducing SOA project risk.

As ComputerWire reported on March 25, Tibco is considering branding one of its products as an ESB, arguing that although it has never used the term, its products can offer everything an ESB can, and more. However it is starting to acknowledge that it may be losing mind share to the inventor of the ESB term, Sonic Software, as well as other integration rivals such as SeeBeyond, Iona, PolarLake, Cape Clear and Fiorano, because it doesn’t have an ESB branded product of its own.

As ComputerWire was able to reveal on March 25, Tibco is considering whether its BusinessWorks enterprise application integration suite or its EMS (Enterprise Message Service) Java messaging implementation are more suited to being re-branded as an ESB, or at least as being ESB-based. Explaining why Tibco is considering such a move, the company’s Aiaz Kazi, general manager business integration, told ComputerWire, If a customer wants a shortlist and they have already bought into the term ESB, then we need to make sure we are on that list because we will certainly blow the other ESBs out of the water.

Sonic claims its ESB combines XML, enterprise-grade communication services, and a service-oriented architecture based on web services standards. But Tibco is adamant that it can already more than match the ESBs for functionality: We already have the ability to do standards-based message transfer and routing, with full support for web services, said Tibco’s Kazi. One Gartner analyst called our solution an ‘ESB plus plus’.

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