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IBM, I’m totally and utterly baffled by WebSphere!

There are so many products under the WebSphere banner, (I lost count at around 200) also it’s not really clear what pieces of the puzzle fit together in the suite.

So, let say I want to integrate two disparate applications, what product under the WebSphere banner do I use?

  • Ascential Enterprise Integration Suite?
  • WebSphere Information Integrator?
  • WebSphere Integration Developer?
  • WebSphere Translation Server for Multiplatforms?
  • WebSphere Message Broker?

Is it one of these? A combination? Heaven forbid all of them! Yes, it obviously depends on what two systems you wish to connect, but there is no one size fits all tool? No map, no guide, oh perhaps consulting services!

So what am I lead to believe the reason is that there are so many tools with the WebSphere moniker?

The cynic in my would say,

1) Every time a feature or tool gets to useful it's launched on its own and the punter gets to pay extra for it?
2) There was so many tools not selling that putting them under the blanket banner of Websphere would stop the question, why do I need that tool? thus helping to put the price up!
3) Is it that parts of WebSphere are ‘free’ so when you buy a Mainframe or new OS or upgrade you get a part of WebSphere, so why buy a product from ‘vendor X’ when you are using part of WebSphere anyway?

The 'glass half full' guy in me would say,

1) Come on, IBM are being comprehensive! Covering all bases and all that?
2) Lumping all the tools into one package is actually misleading as no one environment will need all the tools, so why pay for excess?

Anyway, it’s full steam a-head for IBM WebSphere and SOA but as far as I can see it, you would need to be an IBM zealot to be able to fully understand it because the ordinary Architect in the street can’t and if we don’t then IBM have no hope!

So IBM here is my message to you, sort it out! Sell WebSphere as Developer or Server; Enterprise, Standard or Express for platform X, Y or Z.

Learn from the mistake Microsoft made when they labelling everything ‘.Net’. We all got well confused by that!

Oh yeah Gartner, Ovum etc get it, yes of course they do! That’s reassuring?! ... and we all trust hype generators as far as we can throw them.

So what exactly is WebSphere? Well a bit of a mess really.

Posted on Friday, December 16, 2005 8:51 PM Technical Architecture | Back to top

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