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Do You Still Need Enterprise Architecture if You Have SOA?

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Addressing a blog by Chris Curran about the five myths around EA, do you still need enterprise architecture if you have SOA? If so, how does having SOA change your EA?

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  • SOA doesn’t obviate the need for good “enterprise architecture?, but it can certainly help simplify (and codify) the environment. Of course, behind most great enterprise architectures is a terrific enterprise architect (and team).

  • Not only do you still need it, but it is a necessary requirement for efficient utilization of resources. This is a classic Tale of Two Cities, the good city that maximizes its return on investment and the other the other who merely maximizes it's investment. Building services is does not necessarily guarantee that they will be used by others in an efficient manner. The role of enterprise architecture is both to identify the services that are common across the organization (enterprise services) as well as how as identifying an efficient means of utilizing them in order to maximize their impact.

  • There are things in corprate IT that are not services-oriented and do not need to be service-oriented. SOA does not replace EA.

  • SOA is typically implemented at applications or web site levels, as part of a solution architecture project, independent of EA.

    At the Enterprise level though, SOA effort should be part of the EA development since SOA is the style of the target EA. SOA now transcends IT by attempting to transform the Enterprise structure. It has to rally top management sponsorship for the EA transformation programme. So, in this case, SOA cannot be achieved without EA, in my view.

    Adrian @ http://www.enterprise-architecture-matters.co.uk

  • All I can say is "WOW!". Am I the only one who is shocked that we are still talking about this after so many years of SOA?

  • I'll quote from our own Dave Linthicum, who once pointed out that SOA may eventually be absorbed into EA. And that makes a lot of sense (as Dave always does) -- why have two separate sets of architectural frameworks and initiatives taking place?

  • SOA is a specific EA style which is Service based.
    We should remember that EA, which defines components and the relationship between them, usually includes other architectural style. Even in case of transition to SOA during that long journey, other architectural styles will co-exist with SOA.
    Last but not least, usually it is essential to use Event Driven Architecture (EDA) as an architecture which complements SOA.

  • According to my understanding, the topics of EA and SOA may be seen as topics, of which only the tip belongs to IT, particularly to EAI (being to the most part submerged in the business and organizational domain).

    It seems to me that the IT-Tip of EA is essentially refering to threading architectures in the framework of EAI, and the IT-Tip of SOA to the corresponding data architectures.

    Threading and data architectures are related much like people-oriented and product-oriented issues (referring to human-volition interaction versus product-features coherence).

    The bridge between
    - EA, as an architectural model of threading interaction, and
    - SOA, as a corresponding architectural model of data connectivity,
    seems to be provided by the overall task broken down to aligned task-roles of cooperating humans processing data.

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