How do I gouge thee? Let me count the ways . . .

(Yes, I’m still catching up on my reading – I find I can get through about 15 magazines in a 2hr flight just skimming and pulling out what looks worthwhile).

There’s a nicely provocative one-pager in the December Dr. Dobb’s Journal: “Five Ways Vendors Gouge Customers on Integration.”

In it, Ross Mason (from the Mule project) argues that “Despite vendors’ friendly talk about their approaches to SOA, ESBs, and integration in general, their practices are often predatory . . . Vendors have been sticking it to enterprise cusomers for a long time.”

The five ways, for those who’d like to avoid gouging, are:

  1. Up-front Coding, Proprietary Toolkits
  2. Astronomical Licensing Costs
  3. Ongoing Services / Support Costs
  4. Getting Locked Into a Prescribed Approach
  5. Feature Overshot

Mason concludes that “open source is giving enterprise customers alternative approaches to integration . . . [which] leave your options open, reuse your existing technology investment, and put you in the best position to be able to pick and choose complementary approaches.”

Well worth a read if you’re in the position to deal with EAI, ESB, SOA, or WS-* type projects, whether commercial or open source applications are being leveraged.