Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Latest SOA Buzz: Cloudy Governance; SOA Chops; SOA and BPM United

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While the basic ideas of SOA governance map quite naturally to cloud governance, some important shifts in priority and technology need to take place before SOA governance can be effective in the cloud. In a new feature article posted at ebizQ, Scott Morrison, chief architect and VP engineering for Layer 7 Technologies, observes that "the cloud presents a unique, exciting but also potentially dangerous set of challenges that can only be met by altering existing priorities, technologies and methodologies.... It will take a new look at an old solution--SOA governance--to fulfill the early promise of the cloud."

Hmmm. Interesting how SOA governance is now considered an "old solution"...

In today's recovering economy, is SOA more likely to be deployed as a cost-cutting strategy, or is SOA itself on the chopping block? At one of the latest interactive forums, readers and analysts contributed their thoughts to this question. J.P. Morgenthal says neither is the case: "SOA is being employed because it's in fashion to do SOA."  Jaimin Patel says he observes "SOA being used more for streamlining which then results in cutting their operational costs." John Michelson says companies are looking "to use SOA to wring more costs out of existing IT assets, leverage and reuse partner services, and assemble software with as late a commitment of dollars and resources as possible." Avidor Luttinger says he'd like to "put the church back in the center of the village," and remind us that "SOA really isn't a project, but rather a journey and a methodology.... SOA cannot be an objective in itself."

Then there's the possibility of SOA becoming the latest euphonism for "downsizing." Let's hope it doesn't come to that... 

In one of his latest posts, ebizQ's Michael Poulin cites a recent MWD study that looks at the relationship between SOA and business process management. "In my opinion, they are interchangeable because business processes implement business services, and in turn, uses lower level business services to realize its process activities."

SOA needs BPM to makes its case to the business. BPM needs SOA to function in an enterprise way.

In my latest post, I cite a recent article by Oracle's Dave Chappell, in which Dave makes the case for application grids to realize greater scalability in growing SOA and XML payload deployments.

Grid has always been a sensible concept, and it's surprising more organizations haven't latched on to it. It's sure a lot more flexible than attempting to do "symmetric multiprocessing" or node clustering, where you constantly have to keep buying the same hardware. Dave has always made a great case for achieving SOA scalability this way.

In breaking news, WebLayers, Inc. announced that the company's automated governance platform, WebLayers Center, integrates and supports HP SOA Systinet 3.10 governance software.  In addition, Oracle Corporation announced two new editions of Oracle Enterprise Manager -- Management Packs, and enhancements to the existing SOA and Java EE management pack. In other news, IBM introduced commercial "cloud" services and integrated products for the enterprise. This will give clients a way to standardize IT functions that are rapidly becoming too costly or difficult to use.

In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more

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