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Two years after it was pronounced dead, are we looking at SOA any differently as a result?

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Joe McKendrick: It's now been two years since Anne Thomas Manes of Burton Group posted her famous piece titled "SOA is Dead: Long Live Services."  Anne's post stirred a lot of discussion. Two years on, are we looking at SOA any differently as a result?

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  • Services have proven that they are not only alive but also spreading within enterprise in Business and Technology.

    SOA becomes the architecture of business solutions with some contribution from IT.

    Hurrah to Service Orientation!

  • Are we looking at SOA any differently? No (except for the increased awareness of asynchronous services).

    Are we looking at SOA analysts any differently? Yes, as we now know they are not above "trolling" for publicity sake!

  • Anne's statements reflected the end of our perceptions that we either had to go "Big SOA" versus no SOA. Service orientation occurs on many different levels, in many different formats, for many different purposes. Big SOA may work in highly tuned, well-orchestrated environments, but that's not the way many companies are built.

  • Why is "the way many companies are built" is the right way? It is known in history that Many easily miss points (like Earth is flat or parallel lines never cross)...

  • It's not that existing business structures are "right" or "wrong," they just are, and they are the way they are for their own reasons. Shifting the way hundreds of people have been doing business for years is tough; turning the titanic is a good analogy.

    Rather than trying to force everyone in a company to do things the "right" way all at once, incremental service oriented implementations give a small group of people a chance to gain and show value to the rest of the company. Identify a single business need that would be served by a SOA architecture, implement it in that limited way, with the foresight to build it in a way that can be expanded over time, and you have a sustainable model that can grow to encompass other needs. Eventually, it may become the standard for the entire enterprise, but often that only happens after it's proven it's worth in smaller chunks of the business.


  • Well, if an enterprise has a goal and objectives, and we have an action, we are in position to judge if this action is in line with the goal (i.e. right from the goal perspective) or not. A lot of companies work in the way that slows them down but they still work.

    "Shifting the way hundreds of people have been doing business for years is tough" - yes it is. If you have to choose between tough and dead (bankrupt), all there years value not much. If people used to drive 25 mph for previous 50 years and now they are on a highway with 70 mph speed limit, will you count their way of doing or you demand they to adjust or get away from the highway?

  • The SOA aiming to reshape the Enterprise failed.
    SOA in apllications and web is alive;even more it enables the Cloud.
    This was true when the statement was issued and is still true now.

  • We need to consider here that enterprises change very very slowly for good reasons. They have systems running for many years that have served them very well. Many have learned through painful experience that making quick changes can costs millions in lost business and productivity through systems working slowly or not being available.

    The point is that 2, 3 or even 5 years in the IT cycle of a large enterprise is not a huge amount of time. Many will IPL their enterprise systems (normally large mainframes) only once or twice a year which may surprise many people who see Windows and Linux as being the be all and end all of computing and a regular reboot as being a fact of life. Many enteprises have adopted a SOA approach over the years already so SOA is really just a new term for what they have been doing before it was called SOA.

    My view is that many enterprises have been using services for many years and will continue to align these with the external services provided via the Web and other new channels over time and probably when people come up with some new term for it.

  • The only thing that was changed is less SOA hype. The hype is still there, but in Cloud Computing instead of SOA.
    Another thing was also changed: Anne Thomas Mannes and Burton Group, no longer view SOA as Dead.
    For more details read my post
    Revival or no Death at all: Burton Group and The Lazarus Effect http://avirosenthal.blogspot.com/2010/11/revival-or-no-death-at-all-burton-group.html

  • The problem is that hype often then leads to stupid statements such as "everything has to be SOA", or "The cloud is a necessaty for business today"...Hype is that, hype...

    SOA is sound when we talk about application architecture, performance, asynchronous processing, solution integration, leveraging the cloud and much more. Because of all these reasons its whise for an Enterprise to embrace solutions that leverage a SOA...But lets not think we need to rearchitect all our solutions to work, there is a lot of truth in "if it isnt broken, dont fix it"...

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