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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA RoundUp: Fusion, Baby, Fusion

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This week, the world of SOA was dominated by the Oracle's launch of the latest version of Oracle Fusion Middleware, and of course, ebizQ was all over the story. We looked at Oracle SOA Suite 11g, and Tony Baer provided his take on the whole package. Needless to say, Tony did not hold back on his thoughts, observing that Oracle has BEA to thank for this latest round of plenty:

"Oracle had Fusion Middleware prior to acquiring BEA, but there's little question that BEA was the main event. WebLogic filled the donut hole in the middle of the Fusion stack with a server that was far more popular than Oracle Containers for Java EE. Singlehandedly, BEA catapulted Oracle Fusion into becoming a major player in middleware."

Tony also plugged OSGi, wondering if Oracle will provide the support the standard needs to move forward. (Hard to tell at this time.)

BEA called itself the "Switzerland" of IT because of its proclaimed neutrality. I guess Oracle is now turning it into one gigantic ski resort.

ebizQ's Michael Poulin kept his keyboard fired up, adding his take on Tyson Brooks' advocacy of "Service-Oriented Enterprise Architecture, or SOEA. What is the difference between SOEA and SOA as a methodology working across Business-Technology boundaries? "The business-oriented consumer-centric SOA has a mandatory requirement -- service orientation must be started in business and only then cascaded into IT." SOEA may be initiated at the IT level, however. "One step forward, two steps back, again," Michael sighs.

"SOEA" will never catch on -- at least not as long at it stays a four-letter acronym. We're much more comfortable with TLAs, or three-letter acronyms.

We also had another heated exchange (in a nice way) at this week's ebizQ Forum, which sought to address the question of whether enterprises are meaningfully applying SOA governance practices across their environments. Most participants said yes, SOA governance is doing what it's supposed to do. Except Michael Poulin and I -- we were the contrarians for this one. As Michael put it: "I do not think that many organizations 'truly leveraging SOA Governance principles across their entire design, development and delivery lifecycle' because if they do this, they have lost already. Truly SOA Governance MUST start in the business, with 'modification to behaviors.'"

Miko Matsumura also pointed out that the era of "install software and it just works" is over. "Despite the desire of software that "just works," the value obtained by software is pretty much only attainable when the organization changes its behavior, for example in a business process."

I guess the era of Plug and Play is giving way to "Plug and Sway."

Finally, ebizQ colleague Brenda Michelson provided a running series of liveblogs from the recent Enterprise 2.0 conference held in Boston. She quotes Alistair Croll, who provided insights on the ups and downs of cloud computing -- which may involve moving machines, code, processes or content. Croll also said "cloud bursting is nonsense." Rather, "It's all about the data. The biggest cost is moving the data.  It's also a time issue. Can the data be moved quick enough to support unplanned spike?  If not, data needs to be kept synched with cloud (burst destination). This is expensive.  Might require all data to be moved to hosted environment connected to the cloud."

Clouds can be nice to look at from afar, but when you're inside one, things can get quite hazy.


Very true - Truly SOA Governance MUST start in the business, with 'modification to behaviors.'"

I wholly agree with you on the mportance of governance issues in SOA's success.

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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