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Are SOA and Enterprise Architecture Now the Same Thing?

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From David Linthicum's blog, Do SOA and enterprise architecture now mean the same thing?' Yes, they do, are SOA and EA now the same thing? If not, as was brought up by Joe McKendrick in this discussion, why have two separate sets of architectural frameworks and initiatives taking place?

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  • "What's really going to bake your noodle later on" is when you add Infrastructure Architecture (IA) into the picture.

    Is it part of EA? Is it just SOA for the network? Is it different or the same? Where does *it* fit in?

    Because we didn't have enough *As in enterprise land...


  • I cannot answer the question definitively. However, my hypothesis is that if they are the same thing then you should be able to map ANY accepted EA Framework such as TOGAF with the elements of SOA.

    So for example, continuing with TOGAF, which defines EA as the aggregation of four different architectures, namely:

    1. A Business Architecture that defines the business strategy, governance, organization, and key business processes.

    2. A Data Architecture that describes the structure of an organization's logical and physical data assets and data management resources. Data architecture does not include the design of the actual physical data stores (or database).

    3. An Applications Architecture that provides the blueprint for the individual application systems to be deployed, their interactions, and their relationships to the core business processes of the organization. The application architecture in TOGAF is not concerned with the actual software applications but rather limits the term application to a logical grouping of functionality.

    4. A Technology Architecture that describes the logical software and hardware capabilities that are required to support the deployment of business, data, and application services. This includes IT infrastructure, middleware, networks, communications, processing, standards, etc.

    So, does SOA map to each of these four architecture subsets of TOGAF?

    Making an assertion is one thing; proving your assertion with a fact-based mapping is the proverbial "the proof is in the pudding."

  • SOA and EA are overlapping but are not the same.
    EA can be realised without SOA but Enterprise wide SOA cannot be achieved without EA support. That is why Enterprise SOA fails. SOA succeeds on its own though in defining services for applications and the web.

    Enterprise SOA is a style of target EA based ultimately on services. Still, EA means as well the process of discovery and documentation of the current Enterprise and the Enterprise transformation in order to achieve business vision.

  • In a Service-Oriented Enterprise EA=SOA; in a regular enterprise - they definitely overlap.

    If business units start to serve (vs. command) each other, EA=SOA.

    If IT departs into Clouds, there is nothing left than SOA but Business would not last long.

  • EA includes SOA but SOA alone isn't EA. There are products beyond services to be architected for an enterprise that keeps evolving with time.

  • It's a bit of a moot point isn't it? The SOA and EA communities still do an inordinate amount of navel gazing as they try and define just what it is that they do, so neither of these is a particular well defined term.

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    It still amaze me how such guy as D. Lithicum keeps going with maintaining the confusion between EA and SOA. This confusion and simplest statement has really caused a lot of predjudices to both EA and SOA, but he still continues to stand for it. Why?

    SOA is a technical setup. It is a projection of a certain view of an enterprise architecture (service oriented), but it is definitely not equal to EA. This is ridiculous to restraint EA to this single view (same for any other single view)

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