In this recent Network World article it was pointed out that SOA is now getting its second wind. "SOA is set for a comeback according to analyst company, Burton. Nearly two years ago, it was a Burton analyst, Anne Thomas Manes, who proclaimed that SOA was dead but it appears that reports of its demise have been exaggerated."
The Burton report referenced in the article sites that the initial failure of SOA was around the over focus on SOA technology, and not as much on the approach. Of course I've been stating that for years, it's was just a tough message to get out around the 2 billion dollars in marketing hype that was spent in the SOA space since it began to emerge. Indeed, SOA is a route to a lot of things. Such as good enterprise architecture, and the effective use of cloud computing.
First, to defend Anne a bit, even though she can defend herself. The now famous "SOA is Dead" post was much more profound than the title. Indeed, if most actually read the post, the core message was spot on.
Second, and to the point made in the report, the core issues with SOA were around the junk technology being hyped as "SOA," and thus most SOA projects focused more on the technology than the approach and thus failed when the technology failed. The most obvious culprits there were those promoting ESBs as "SOA-in-a-Box," or anything related to design-time service governance. Notice that you don't hear much about those technologies anymore, in light of cloud computing and the return to SOA fundamentals.
The core purpose of SOA is to define a way of doing something that provides an end-state architecture that's much more changeable and thus much more agile, and ultimately provides more value to the business. Let's stop arguing about what it is, and get to work for SOA.