Dave Chappell and David Berry have recently published an article in SOA Magazine titled “The Next-Generation, Grid-Enabled Service-Oriented Architecture”. I had unexpectedly gotten a quick overview of this work a few weeks ago, when I ran into Dave Chappell at the Oracle gym (since I was coming out of an early morning swim it took Dave a couple of seconds to recognize me, as I walked through the weight room leaving a trail of water behind me). Even if you are more interested in systems management than middleware, this article is worth your reading time because it describes a class of problems (or rather, opportunities) that cut across middleware and IT management. Namely, providing the best environment for scalable, reliable and flexible SOA applications. In other words, making the theoretical promises of SOA practically achievable in real scenarios. The article mentions “self-healing management and SLA enforcement” and it implies lots of capabilities to automatically provision, configure and manage the underlying elements of the Grid as well the SOA applications that make use of it. Those are the capabilities that I am now working on as part of the Oracle Enterprise Manager team. And the beauty of doing this at Oracle, is that we can work on this hand in hand with people like Dave to make sure that we don’t create artificial barriers between middleware and systems management.