Computer Associates has dismissed analyst claims that Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is dead, and has released a survey that highlights the rising number of SOA deployments to backup its position.

Earlier this month analyst house Burton Group said that the word SOA was 'dead.' "SOA met its demise on January 1, 2009, when it was wiped out by the catastrophic impact of the economic recession," blogged Anne Thomas Manes, vice president and research director at Burton.

To be fair, she did say however there was going to be a growing interest in services-based IT. "SOA is survived by its offspring: mashups, BPM, SaaS cloud computing, and all other architectural approaches that depend on 'services,'" Manes wrote at the time.

Instead of becoming a saviour, SOA "instead turned into a great failed experiment - at least for most organisations," Manes said. "SOA failed to deliver on promised benefits and after the investment of millions, IT systems are not better than before. In some cases they are worse, with costs higher and projects taking longer," she said.

But Computer Associates doesn't see things like that. "I quite disagree with their position," said Prabhjot Singh, vice president of marketing for CA's Application Performance Management business unit. "Economics are affecting every technology within IT, not just SOA, so the idea the economy is affecting only SOA is incorrect."

"To say that SOA is dead is a misnomer," he insisted. "SOA is more a frame of mind, a way of solving business challenges today, it is not necessarily a set of technology pieces. You need a mindset of solving these problems in a different way."

"That said, SOA has certainly not been the silver bullet that everyone thought it would be," he told Techworld. "But we are seeing more and more customers transforming from legacy to SOA systems, and we are able to assist by providing visibility of the end-user experience and marrying that with the performance and services of back-end systems, so one is able to justify ROI and know what the user experience is."

He pointed to a recently released survey on SOA deployments which found that the number of SOA deployments are rising, but that mission-critical SOA applications are in need of better reliability.

The CA sponsored survey targeted businesses in the US, UK, France, Germany, and Australia that had either already deployed or are planning to deploy SOA based applications. A total of 615 participated in the survey, which took place in July and August of last year.

It found that for many organisations, SOA is playing an increasingly important role in IT infrastructure and in the deployment of web?based services. 73 percent said they have deployed an SOA application, whereas 23 percent said they were planning a SOA deployment. Uptake is highest in the US, closely followed by Germany and Australia, with the UK and France bringing up the rear.

"SOA has been a buzzword for quite some time now," said Singh. "But the survey suggests it is here and it has arrived. It is in the early release stages, but we expect broader adoption this year."

The CA study found that SOA production applications are in the early or pilot stages, with 51.2 percent saying that their business would deploy their SOA application in six months to a year's time. Only 10.3 percent said it would be deployed within the next six months. It also found that no single platform dominates, with an almost equal split using Java, J2EE, Linux/Unix, Windows and Microsoft.Net Framework.

And it seems that large companies are likely to use a suite of tools to measure SOA application and web performance. This, according to CA is vitally important, as survey respondents said that application downtime was damaging customer relationships, and difficulties with problem?resolution was reducing productivity in IT and line?of?business operations. They also said that poor web application performance costing revenue.

Singh believes that mission-critical SOA applications must be proactively managed with the total customer experience in mind to achieve optimum service levels. He pointed to CA's Application Performance Management solution that can monitor user experience, by the various business processes being executed and assigning business values to each user and business process. "We also provide ability to map user experiences to various pieces of the infrastructure and when a problem occurs, we are able to effectively locate its root cause," he said.

CA's Application Performance Management solution is available as a standalone, with prices starting at $8,000 (approx £5,460).