Print this article Email this article Talk Back! Write to Editor

Full Transcript: SOA and Web 2.0: Mashups, SaaS, and Collaboration: Putting the Pieces Together

12/04/2007

Joe McKendrick Panel Discussion at SOA in Action Listen to the entire webinar -- or download a podcast for later playback

Participants in this panel discussion are Joe McKendrick (JM); Dana Gardner (DG); and Phil Wainewright (PW.)

JM: Welcome everyone to this ebizQ panel discussion, the latest in today's SOA in Action virtual conference. I'm Joe McKendrick, moderator of today's panel and contributor to ebizQ's SOA in Action site. I'm also a contributor to the ZDNet SOA site. And before introducing our Webinar and our distinguished speakers today, I would first like to take a moment to acquaint you with the features and functions of this trade show, this virtual trade show and presentation. The trade show is highly interactive and you can chat with company representatives and other visitors, send business cards, leave messages and basically, just feel free to browse around the virtual trade show -- there's a lot to see and do!

About our Panelists

Read Dana Gardner's 'Briefings Direct' blog on ZDNet

Read Phil Wainewright's 'Software as Service' ZDNet blog

More SOA in Action Webinars

1. Replay the Slide Show and Hear the full Q&A from this Webinar

2. View Replays of all nine of our SOA in Action Webinars


More ebizQ Webinars

1. Leverage Federated ESBs to Benefit From a 'SMART SOA's
Date/Time: December 06, 2007, 12:00 PM, EST (17:00 GMT)
Featured Speakers: Roy Schulte, Vice President and Distinguished Analyst, Gartner, Inc.; Kevin Anderson, Program Director, WebSphere, IBM
Objective:Gartner predicts that by 2009, eighty percent of large companies will have ESBs or similar SOA infrastructure products from three or more vendors -- but only half of all large companies will apply a systematic, federated approach to managing their disparate SOA domains and ESBs. Which half are you in?

And along with today's panel discussion, we'll be taking your live questions and you'll see on the console in front of you, the gray console, the "ask-a-question" button. Just click on that and type in your question and we'd be fielding that. Today's panel discussion is entitled "SOA and Web 2.0: Mashups, Software-as-a-Service, and Collaboration: Putting the Pieces Together" and Web 2.0, SOA and the extension of that, Enterprise 2.0 are something we've been hearing a lot about through the trade press and analyst community and essentially, the common denominator, the common ground, appears to be the delivery of the Web as a platform.

I'm privileged and pleased to have two very distinguished colleagues joining me today. We have Dana Gardner, the president and principle analyst of Interarbor Solutions and a well-known analyst in the IT space. Welcome, Dana!

DG: Thanks, Joe! It's great to be here.

JM: And I also should mention Dana leads the BriefingsDirect SOA insights series of podcasts, which I have been honored to join in on and these podcasts feature analysts who regularly dissect the goings-ons and events shaping the SOA market. And along with Dana, I'm also pleased to introduce and have with us Phil Wainewright, an influential commentator and strategist in the emerging software space. He is a well-known analyst and commentator on Software-as-a-Service. He's got a ZD.net blog and also was the founder of the looselycoupled.com Web site. Welcome, Phil!

PW: Glad to be here, Joe!

JM: Okay! Well, we're going to be talking about SOA vs, or SOA and Web 2.0 and whenever I talk about or think about the comparisons, the topic of SOA and Web 2.0, I think about the Apple TV commercial that was playing for some time. You had these two individuals up there, "Hi, I'm a PC" and "Hi, I'm a Mac" and I think a great analogy, a fitting analogy would be to have "Hi, I'm a SOA" and "Hi, I'm Web 2.0."

Of course, the uptight guy in the corporate suit is most likely to be a SOA guy and the cool, laid-back Mac dude is more likely to be the Web 2.0 guy. And this brings me to the first topic, which I'd like to discuss with the panelists and there is, there appears to be a chiasm between the folks that are involved with Web 2.0, the proponents of Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 by extension, and the SOA types who seem to be more tied to the backend of the enterprise. Is it fair to say that the SOA folks and the Web 2.0 folks come from two different worlds? Do you see them being in two separate camps or are we seeing convergence between these two groups within enterprises? And, Dana, why don't we start off with you? Get your thoughts on that.

DG: Sure, Joe, thanks! I think they're both heading in the same direction but they're coming from different perspectives. Different cultures. And, you know, one of the terms that I've heard recently that I liked even better than Web 2.0 or Web-oriented architecture is "guerilla SOA," meaning that small groups of people, fleet, working with lightweight architecture and tools can accomplish an awful lot when it comes to green field development of services and when it comes to down-and-dirty projects to do integration, compositing and to basically solve the problem of the day on an ad hoc basis.

But at the same time, of course, we have a 30- or 40-year legacy of resources, infrastructure, application stacks that all need to be brought into the mix as well. So, to me, these actually are quite complementary, even if they're on separate tracks and operate through really separate cultures and mindsets. And they are both trying to free up resources and give end users the data and the transactions and the logic that they need to get the work done. And if they both operate on that basis, I think that they are actually going to meet up somewhere, someday, in a very, perhaps, productive way.

JM: Phil, you've been following this market for longer than anybody I know, actually, at this point -- especially the Web services and, by extension, SOA. Is, did you see this phenomenon taking place in the early days of Web services, we'll call it the "pre-SOA architectures" in the early part of the decade?

PW: Well, yeah, very much so. I think that some, there was a time when SOA was seen as very emergent and perhaps threatening and I know you've written, Joe, about they're just a bunch of Web services phenomenon in which people kind of start of do point-to-point Web service integration and perhaps end up with a whole spaghetti mess of uncoordinated, ungoverned SOA, perhaps not worthy of the name architecture.

And, of course, I think that's the fear around Web 2.0 that because it's emergent and by their nature, emergent technologies are chaotic, uncontrolled, ungovernable, there's this sense that you don't really want them in your nicely cultivated, managed service-oriented architecture in case it kind of ruins the show. So, I'm a little bit less optimistic than Dana because I think it's going to be a few years before Web 2.0 and SOA really co-exist simply because Web 2.0 is so ill-defined and people are still using it to experiment rather than with a definitive purpose and there's certainly no real kind of best practice at the moment.

DG: Well, I think that there's probably more pessimism to had when these would co-exist in the same organization, but what I'm actually pretty keen on is the notion that these are going to co-exist in the marketplace, because I think there's an opportunity now for disruption. The smaller companies that can be capitalized for much less money than in the past, that can start up and go into existing markets and work much more quickly than to help customers or users acquire services and to gain some productivity and business benefit, but without having to drag along the legacy of IT infrastructure and to avail themselves of services off the wire increasingly and the ability to host themselves cheaply and such things as what Amazon is providing with elastic cloud.

So if that happens, then we have a situation in the marketplace where there's a great deal of disruption from small start-ups that can work in almost like we saw in the 80s with pirates, corporate raiders that would come in and break companies up and sell the parts, it's almost the same notion of a raider or a pirate mentality I would think for small Web 2.0 services-oriented organizations and if that's the case, that's going to compel and force the bigger companies to adopt these sorts of practices.

PW: Yes, I think that I would agree with. Because I think looking back to the early days of SOA, all of the vendors at the onset were fairly small vendors. You know, people like HP and IBM and Microsoft kind of talked about SOA, got involved in establishing the standards quite heavily but really didn't have convincing products to offer the market, particularly not in the SOA management space.

So it was down to vendors like Actional and AmberPoint and Systinetwho were out there, Cape Clear is another one, were out there and actually kind of being the companies, the vendors, that were being picked up by the early adopters who actually wanted to kind of use the technology for the competitive advantage. Subsequently, of course, a significant number of those vendors were actually bought up and became part of larger organizations as the bigger vendors got involved.

So -- exactly. We're going to see the same thing happening with Web 2.0. The organizations, the enterprises, are actually going to be the early adopters and gain competitive advantage, are going to have to take risks with relatively untried start-up vendors because those are the vendors who actually have got the tools.

DG: And we also have to remember that SOA is a methodology. And therefore, it's not just suppliers that are going to be playing this game. It's going to be the companies and start-ups that are filling needs in the market. We hear a lot of talk about a bubble in the Web 2.0 environment, lots of start-ups, and they compare it to what happened six, seven, eight years ago in the first Web, the Internet craze, and the dot com bubble. But the amount of money that has been invested in these start-ups is much less than it was in the past because they can actually get up on their feet and running for far less money, and I think that has to do with new methodologies around service orientation, infrastructure as a service, hosting as a service and a dramatic reduction on the total cost of getting up and running with what is a widget or application or a service, or something like Facebook, which of course has taken off so quickly and has reached almost dizzying potential market capitalization. That couldn't have been done ten or fifteen years ago, based on the architectures that were available.

PW: Yeah, that's absolutely right. But also, of course, what, the development tools are there. But what they're trying to develop is a lot less challenging, you know, putting together a wiki platform is not as hard as putting together a scaleable monitoring infrastructure that can track Web services across an organization.

DG: Well, that's the point, isn't it? To come up with something small but productive that you can use quickly and not necessarily think about a six-to-eighteen month production process, to come up with something like forty pages of requirements. It's really about simplifying but it also allows for people to get work done and for sharing, and if more small companies do that, it makes those APIs and SDKs available, then they can build into an ecology of these services and therefore, really could be a much simpler way of approaching IT solutions, problem-solving, rather than just thinking about as SOA. It could really be a new way that people can build out IT process-driven productivity.

PW: But are all the guys that run IT actually going to be comfortable with that?

DG: Probably not.

PW: I mean, we've seen what they've done with SOA. And they've turned service-oriented architecture into this huge infrastructure project that takes years to come to fruition and a very --

DG: -- yeah.

PW: The business people don't really kind of get much of a look in on what's going on. And the same as Web 2.0, it's the business people kind of their revenge.

DG: The barbarians at the gate, right?

PW: (laughs) Yeah.

JM: It's interesting. Dana mentioned the ability to start businesses pretty much on a low IT budget and kind of get around the need for huge infrastructure. I'm familiar with the case of a music cataloging service that was able to grab hold of Amazon's S3 storage system and as the elastic compute cloud scaleable processing services and essentially start its business up with an eighty-three dollar investment in IT.

DG: Sure, so if I'm a department manager. I'm running remote office. Where I'm a sales or a marketing executive and I see these sort of things happening, I can wait in line for six or twelve months for my IT department to satisfy me? Or I can hire a couple of college kids and go out and do something like that. Joe, what do you think I'm gonna do?

JM: Right. The college kids. The low barrier to entry.

DG: And if my company says, "Hey, you can't do that, we'll close you down," I might just go quit and go and start my own company, right?

JM: Right. You know, this is something -- SOA has always been a rather difficult to explain to executives, to explain to the business people. I mean, once they get it, you know, their eyes light up and they realize that this is something that can help streamline their operations and give them more agility. But until then, it's a complicated concept. But when we talk about these on-demand applications, the Software-as-a-Service, the Facebook.com type of services you can tap into over the Internet on an instant, this is something the business gets right away.

And one thing I've always wondered, is why or can SOA itself, can your SOA operation be considered an internal Software-as-a-Service. In other words, you have Software-as-a-Service, this is something that Software-as-a-Service is taking place within the bounds of organization and the findings departments, HR, or whoever, can tap into whatever costs, chargeback formula you have, and tap into these services, as easily as they could something from the outside. What do you think? Phil, you're our --

PW: I think it's a great vision. I think there are some kinds of practical pieces missing in terms of making it happen. But, I think, first of all, step back for a sec. People have been talking about the notion of the global SOA, the Web as a global SOA in which you can kind of pick and choose services that you use. And, so, I think it's quite natural to think of an enterprise SOA as a microcosm of that.

Well, that's fine in principle. But (a), I mean you talked about charging for usage curve, for example. The infrastructure for doing that is very, very -- is in it's infancy, which is why the majority of Software-as-a-Service providers are still doing per use or per month subscriptions because that is a very simple thing to administer. It's still actually quite complicated when you're actually running a business and people are kind of dropping off and joining and so on.

It's probably harder than you think at first glance. But that's just the simplest way of charging for a service. If you get into an enterprise environment where, you want to charge people for their use of resources rather than simply per use or per month. You'll find that there are very few software tools out there who will allow you to automate that process in an effective way. So that's one of the barriers to that.

But I think the other barrier is that how many IT managers really want to open up the, how many CIOs want to open up all of the internal services they office to a competitive marketplace? Surely, the idea of that you're going to empower users to start building this budget for, to choose between the services that you offer and the services which are out there in the marketplace. Venture-funded services quite often launch the kind of services that you have to kind of battle for a share of the budget to support. Then, you're probably going to feel that the odds are stacked against you. And you'll end up in a situation where you're being criticized for losing users and you haven't got the budget to actually be able to support them in a competitive way.

DG: Well, you know one of the things that's inherent with SOA is, that it requires change. And that's often deep and penetrating and difficult to change. And people being what they are, are often resistant to change. Most by nature. And so we need incentives. We need carrots and we need sticks in order to get IT people and business people to come together more on the solutions that are not to complicated, not too costly, that don't taken too much time but actually significant work done and efficiency and productivity moving along.

And one of the things we discussed a while ago is this notion of a market competition. Smaller up-starts undercutting the larger, older companies and that would be, I suppose, somewhat of a stick that you have to change and you have to do things differently in your IT department or you're going to lose your job because your company is going to go out of business. So there's some sticks out there in the market that will propel change towards SOA methodologies and Web 2.0 activities that also have to be carrots.

And I think what we're discussing, Joe, is this notion of putting the market forces or economics that tend to work in an open environment and apply that to a corporate environment. So that IT is not seen so much as a cost center but if you pay for what you get, you're gonna demand better service and accountability will be more direct. Budgeting will be more predictable and IT services will be consumed rather than you waiting in line to get them almost like a hand-out from a bureaucracy, like a government transfer or social program.

So in a sense, we are trying to change what is in some ways a welfare system in organizations and how IT is dispensed and acquired and used, and create more of a down and competitive, lean, mean productivity machine. And so again, we're going to need to look at sticks. We're going to need to look at carrots. And that's why SOA is transformative in how it affects a company. That means HR has to get involved. Politics needs to be taken into account. A buy-in from the top as well as the bottom so grassroots activities as well as dictates from the corporate offices. This is why SOA is so impactful for a lot of organizations and really will cut across them and is about business transformation.

But you have to remember those sticks out there, that if you don't transform, the marketplace will transform around you and you'll be left at a disadvantage.

JM: Those companies settle with legacy systems, proprietary silos, they can't get information to the decision makers, to the line employees, will find themselves increasingly being held behind by other companies that make use of these new tools and new paradigms.

DG: Yeah, I think so. And this doesn't have to be an issue where you're out of business. We've seen change in the past happen many times. The last 50 or 100 years, as a culture, as a society, as a world, we've dealt with fantastic change. And many times, quite well. So I would expect that inside of organizations, they create what, you know, is sometimes referred to as skunk works, where you try these methodologies out. And you apply them in a small scale, and you crawl and then you walk and you run and you apply them more broadly.

The notion of a total horizontally-deployed SOA activity sounds very unlikely unless you're a small company and can make these sorts of dictates that everyone will do blank and they will, but for a large organization, it is about carrots and sticks, it's about cultural politics and it's about incentives. So I would think that SOA would start small and Web 2.0 will start small but they can complement one another in terms of creating a germ, or a seed, in these organizations, show a better way and then adoption can take place over a period of time.

PW: Yeah, I think that organizational politics of this is very important. It's crucial. That, on the one hand, I think that the people who are responsible for governing IT need to be reassured by management, by senior management, that their concerns are understood. That the reasons why they're resisting change are often founded in concerns about good practice. But at the same time, I think that they need to be relaxed in accepting of the Web 2.0 experimentation that's taking place. And recognize that because it's emergent, is just not going to be as manageable and as controllable as the established mainstream applications that are already in place.

I think we probably need to talk about the role of governance, because that's a big issue in making it happen. But it's a whole topic to itself. But that's a tool to be employed by the senior management of the organization. I think it drives home that unless this is driven by the people who run and own the company, and unless they have really understood the upheaval and business change management that's involved, that there's a great deal of scope for it to go awry.

JM: And, Phil, you brought up a good point. The whole area of governance. We have basically two evolutionary, revolutionary, however you want to consider it, paradigms that are reshaping the way we manage technology, manage our organizations and technology, SOA and Web 2.0. I'd like to kind of work our way to this whole governance idea.

One thing that the two paradigms, I'll call them "paradigms," I don't like that word. But I can't think of another word to describe it at this point. The two paradigms have in common is this idea of mash-ups. Okay? You have Web 2.0 with collaborative applications, the Facebook stuff, and blogs and wikis and so forth, and there's SOA with composite applications. But it seems when you talk about the mash-ups. That's the common ground. That's where the two areas intersect. That's where Web 2.0 and SOA intersect.

Application mash-ups bear a striking resemblance, in fact, to composite applications that are part of many SOA efforts. Both techniques involve the rapid development and deployment of new applications that pull data from multiple sources across the network. We saw with, you know, on the consumer side, Google maps based services and a lot of organizations are looking at applying this type of mash-ups to their front ends to provide a better picture of what their data is telling them.

What's the -- now, the idea behind mash-ups is that end users can design their own front end applications. The mash-ups, you don't need an IT person necessarily, a trained developer to put these front end applications together. And it certainly makes sense that end users should take responsibility for their own software and applications because the IT department typically is very overworked and has a lot to think about.

First of all, is this a good thing? Is end user design applications a good thing? And how is Web 2.0 and SOA, the convergence of these two, enabling this phenomena?

DG: Well, Joe, you've got a long going there in that question.

JM: I know --

DG: It's a long-winded question. There's a couple of things going on here. One, is there's a technical discussion about how you would go about creating the interfaces and you would relate back to backend services. And there's somewhat of a debate around whether you'd want to do that in a, oh I don't know, more of a Web-based way where you're using http and SOAP and REST and XML and so you try to keep it at a very lightweight and loosely-coupled level.

Or you can have more top-to-bottom modeling based approaches where you have services made available and they can be composited using tools and business process modeling standards and something that would make more sense, I supposed in a large ERP type of an environment. So we can have a discussion about which technological approach makes sense and which conditions and what kind of companies based on their legacy and their use and their skill sets.

But the larger issue, I think here is really just a notion of conceptualizing the ability of people to be able to put things together fairly quickly without having to go through an IT developer requirements process. So you give a palette, let's say, of services and people can start, whether they are business analysts or whether they're line of business people or perhaps even knowledgeable, powerful end users, perhaps, folks that have come up in more recent years through use of technology and are familiar and comfortable with it.

And that's where I think the productivity issues are. So how we go about it is still going to be up for debate and is going to vary a lot. But the fact that we can empower people to take more of a role in crafting business processes, or amending business processes, or being innovative and creative and thinking out of the box without having to go through a committee. That could unleash quite a bit of creative power and energy but the downside of that is it could be very chaotic.

So the real issue, is how do we capture the creativity without being penalized by the chaos? And it's a balancing act between allowing people to be accessing and mashing up different services, data sets, access and privilege to content and RSS feeds, for example. And at the same time, putting this in some kind of a box where we can apply policy perhaps or rules of engagement. Who decides who can do it and who can't and under which circumstances and if you do it, who can you share it with, that's really what we are up against. So we are seeing a lot of action and momentum in the market around vendors and suppliers trying to come up with the means to unleash the creativity but keep it somewhat sane.

JM: And perhaps apply some of the governance methodologies and technologies that we're developing for SOA? Can that be applied to Web 2.0? Should we go to the Web 2.0 folks and say, "Hi, I'm from the governance committee and I'm here to help?"

DG: Well, you know, I would hate to think that we're going to have a different policy, governance and overall management capability at different levels of an organization or at different levels of this creative process. That, to me, is another recipe for layers of complexity that don't relate that will require integration.

I'd rather see a top-to-bottom comprehensive, flexible policy approach so that single policies can apply across different types of activities and groups, and really you have to be somewhat automated. Otherwise, just the management becomes so complex that it bogs down any of the creative opportunity.

So, this is the challenge in the market now and so far, we've been doing this with basically the equivalent of you know, snearkerware and wetware. You walk across the room with a floppy disc or you just use your best judgment and allow, you know, no one gets penalized for being creative until it becomes a problem and they get reigned in. So perhaps that's the level that we're at now.

But ultimately, for this to scale, for it become something that works in the consumer environment or user-generated types of activities for it to be deployed widely in corporations, it's going to need to scale. Therefore, it's going to require automation but it's going to require something that's simple and comprehensive across policy. So, event-driven types of activities. That's what we're looking for right now, a solution to this credible problem. Because we can see creativity already but we know that we can go only so far with it in the current technological and business process environment.

PW: You know, I'd like to leap in with a couple of observations at this point, if I may. Because I think IT people sometimes talk as though no business process innovation ever happens unless it happens in the IT system. And that's completely wrong. And, in fact, mash-ups and business process innovation have been happening in the enterprise since the beginning of time. And, you know, a lot of it happens in Excel spreadsheets, for example. People do mash-ups with different data sources in Excel spreadsheets but they do it by cutting and pasting, because the data feeds are not available to them. So they have no choice but to do that. They're doing business processes that involve walking around the corner with output of one program to key it into another program on someone else's desk because the integration hasn't been provided.

But there are huge amounts of innovation already being done by people who just need to get their work done. And are having to innovate or work around the limitations of the IT.

DG: That's the story of the PC, isn't it?

PW: Yeah, exactly. And that is, and so that's one of the reasons why IT has to let Web 2.0 emerge, has got to let users start to do this. So that they can see what the problems are that users are trying to address. And then they can understand what needs to be introduced on a more formal basis. And they also need to see what they need to have governance over. I think the difficulty and one of the problems that we had, I think where the SOA has been rolled out in organizations over the past few years, is that it's been done without enough understanding of what the business users actually needed to do with the system. What automation they actually needed. What business process integration they actually needed.

And, therefore, perhaps it does not channel the investment into the right areas. I think you've got to allow a certain amount of chaos and a certain amount of guerilla activity in order to identify what the business is actually kind of most in need of.

DG: Yeah, I certainly agree with that. You know, Joe, you mentioned earlier the commercial about "Hi, I'm a PC and I'm a Mac," well -- twenty years ago there was a commercial of somebody running down an aisle with a big hammer and Big Brother was the object of their breaking down barriers.

PW: That was a Mac ad as well, wasn't it?

DG: Yes, it was, it was from Apple --

PW: But that was against, that was against Big Blue at the time, IBM.

DG: That was against the mainframe. And so now we're looking at, Okay, well perhaps there are these services and mash-ups and interfaces and new creativity that can be had on the network, of, for and by the network, that in a sense is competing against what seems slow and difficult and complex in the distributed computing environment. And that's kind of the same tension that is now bubbling up and look what happened when the PCs were allowed in. Sure, there was chaos. It was added cost of constant battle, you know, to build networks and develop bandwidth but the productivity that was unleashed for the last twenty years in the global economy has been astonishing. So pitfalls and risks, yes, but huge pay-off potentially, too.

PW: Yeah. I think that new technologies never emerge fully-formed. And I think we have to give them space to deliver their benefit and allow for a little bit of kind of rough edges. I mean, as we saw with the PC. They, first of all, they were resisted. Then everyone thought they were wonderful. Then Gartner came out with a TCO report and people thought, "Oh, we better manage these guys." That's the same process we will go through precisely with Web 2.0 and I guess that Gartner's TCO report on the cost of ownership of Web 2.0 is due in about three years' time.

DG: Right! And just as mainframes are still with us and are very productive, and you can modernize the software investment that you've made in a mainframe on new hardware and more cost-efficient standardized platform, I should think the same effect will happen as well when mash-ups and Web 2.0 and Enterprise 2.0 activities will complement the distributed legacy environments, so that there's an opportunity here as we said earlier for a complementary nature. It's not us and them. It's both. But it's how do you manage your culture, your environment and your opportunities, to take advantage of both.

JM: And it's probably fair to say that while, you know, we could look at it as IT vs business wanting these Web 2.0 tools, typically, I find that these IT people that will adopt a lot of these new technologies for their own purposes and own productivity very early on in the process. That as IT people, that we're bringing PCs into the company back in the 1980s to do their own work and their own pilots and experimentation and that's one of the, in fact, when we talk about convergence of Web 2.0 and SOA, I see that as a major productivity point. The collaborative capabilities, the blogs, wikis and social networking sites that Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 brings in, is something that the architects, the developers, the integration specialists can all use to work together better and build SOA.

PW: Yes, you know, Joe, that reminds me of something. That a couple of years ago, people were starting to get more sophisticated about SOA governance and talking about repositories as well as registries. Because what they were finding was the amount of documentation that was required to actually allow people to choose and implement the service that they needed, was quite a bit more than just an entry into an UDDI registry. And at the same time, Salesforce.com and AppExchange. And it was almost as though AppExchange (37:18), which was a directory of complementary applications and services that you can call up and use with your core Salesforce.com application, it was almost as though that was a kind of Web 2.0 type spin on the SOA repository.

Now, the reason I tell that story is because I think that we need to look at, in this new era, we need to look at kind of governance 2.0 and discovery 2.0 because you need to help people to find and start using these emerging services but in a way that is adapted to the needs of a much more open environment for exchanging services and picking up resources.

DG: Phil -- correct me if I'm wrong, but it seems that Salesforce.com and AppExchange really is an example of trying to reach that balance between openness, creativity, flexibility and at the same time, some control, command and policy. And, --

PW: -- Well, yeah. I mean, obviously, you have to run on a Salesforce.com platform to fall in with that. But I think there's some interesting stuff going on there, like the ability to rate or you know, to vote for particular services on the AppExchange to kind of comment on them. So that users can help each other to understand which are the useful ones, perhaps kind of mention what they like about a service, what they don't like about a service. Now, you could imagine that kind of thing being brought into an enterprise SOA repository, and it would be pretty useful.

DG: Right. So an enterprise might dictate, this is the platform you will use. These are the frameworks that are available. Here are the developer skills that you will line up behind. However, we're going to put a wiki on the front of it. We'll have a social network approach. Governance and oversight will become, you know, much more flexible so it's when we bring sort of social networking benefits to what was otherwise a command-and-control decision-making process that sort of again gets closer to that balance of creating --

PW: -- Yeah, and I think that the great power of that is that it means that if you are not doing things right. If you are not giving people enough freedom or if they kind of really, really want to use some stuff that you are not allowing, then instead of them going off and voting with their feet, you can actually read that complaint and maybe have a dialogue with them because of the collaborative nature of this Web 2.0 environment.

DG: Sure, as we all know as bloggers that that's a very important part of what we do. Our word is not the last word. It's really kind of the first word. And then it gets vetted. And there's thumb's up and thumb's down and there's comments and there's linking and tagging and sending it off to someone else to look at. And there's in this sense, the wisdom of the crowd that's applied to this one piece of information or a thought or a concept. It's quite powerful. And very quickly, something is either viewed and used as creative and beneficial or it's tossed out and discarded, but no great loss, you move on and start something else and do it again.

And that's that same, I think, methodology of social interaction that we're now trying to bring into SOA because it's probably the only way that we can manage the complexity of this policy requirement.

JM: Great! You know, I saw on the recent transcript of one of your podcasts, the wisdom of the crowd was applied to new acronym WOA, wisdom-oriented architecture.

DG: That's right! I think it was Jim Kobielus.

JM: Jim Kobielus, okay! He's good with those acronyms.

DG: Yeah, right. Or, he liked also the water foundation oriented-architecture because it really is, you know, what do people talk about at that few minutes when they're not concentrating on work when they could be creative, they could be social, when they could compare and contrast what the organization socially is thinking and doing. So that also applies to what we're talking about. It can't just be command-and-control. IT is too complicated, being fleet in the market or being agile on how you create solutions for your customers is too difficult to put it through a bureaucratic top-down kind of control-and-command environment. It needs to be opened up but it needs to be done so with some, you know, risk reduction and I suppose governance.

JM: And what we are seeing in organizations, especially over the past few decades have been a breaking down of the hierarchy, pushing decision-making close to the line employees who are directly involved with the projects or with the customer.

DG: You know, there's not going to be one-size-fits-all. There's going to be different companies that have different cultures. And some companies are going to highly centralized and some are going to be decentralized. There's, of course, also cultural differences from nation to nation and country to country. Where, there's a certain cultural emphasis on being less confrontational. In some cultures, I don't belong to that one, but there are also other cultures where, you know, spirited discussion and throwing it all up on the wall and tearing it apart is acceptable.

So there are going to be different approaches to this. But what's important is that we can apply more fluidly, more flexibly, different ways of social and group interaction with the whole process of building, using and adjusting IT. And so, you know, due to suppliers perhaps. Due to just the evolution of IT, in the past twenty or thirty years, that flexibility has either been missing from the get-go or it's been lost and now's the time to allow for different companies to have different approaches to how problem solutions come about and that IT is not an afterthought but is integral to that process, start to finish.

PW: Yeah, I think it's all about communication, really -- isn't it? And I think the great thing about these Web 2.0 technologies is that they just automate communication and collaboration so that it just makes it easier for people to work together. Now, I think that in the course of this conversation, we've touched on some really important ways in which IT themselves can harness with 2.0 to have a better dialogue with the consumers of IT. Within an organization. And I think that any IT function that really grabs hold of that and starts to use Web 2.0 to do their own jobs better will, by doing that, obviously build the competence of people elsewhere in the organization when they do get Web 2.0 so they're not going to be obstructive. That they're going to be supportive of what other departments like customer services and sales and marketing, manufacturing, whoever are doing with those technologies.

DG: Yeah, I would say that a lot of IT departments are already doing some of these things with their help desks. Where they are allowing the help desk personnel, they're taking incoming tickets and dealing with problems, to go out and do Google searches and find solutions or to create their own frequently asked questions and contribute the knowledge back into a general pool, or a wiki, or a repository that's open and collaborative. You know, that's how you can manage the complexity of dealing with a huge help desk operation. You can apply that more generally across other aspects of IT.

JM: Okay, great. Great! Dana, Phil -- I'm afraid we've run out of time. This has been a terrific discussion and we really, you guys have really done a great job of connecting the dots and showing which dots still need to be connected between the world of Web 2.0 and SOA. And we really appreciate you being able to come aboard and provide your insights.

PW: Well, it's been a pleasure. Thanks very much, Joe.

JM: Sure!

DG: I think it has to do with our haircuts, Phil and I.

JM: (laughs) Okay, great! And we -- just a couple of housekeeping things. We actually have some winners for our drawing. Our listeners were entered into a drawing to receive four of the bestselling books around integration and SOA and I'll just read down the list of the winners here: First, is K. Morro of Goodyear. They will receive a copy of Enterprise Integration: The Essential Guide to Integration Solutions by Beth Gold-Bernstein and that's ebizQ's own and William Ruh. Next, is M. Engstrom from FedEx Freight Service is receiving a copy of Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology and Design by Thomas Erl, a very prolific author here in the space. We have C. Haggard from the New York State Department of Labor, who is receiving a copy of SOA for Dummies. That's a fantastic book, everyone should get a hold of that one. And finally, we have B. Murphy from Verizon, SOA for the Business Developer: Concepts, BPEL and SVA by Ben Margolis.

And I just want to remind our listeners as well that I encourage you to go out and check out the SOA in Action virtual trade fair and for every virtual booth you visit, you will automatically be entered into a drawing for an Apple iPhone, the ultimate client end user device. And, again, I want to thank our listeners. I thank everyone for joining in today. And I want to thank our distinguished panelists, Dana Gardner and Phil Wainewright. We certainly appreciate having you aboard with us today.

DG: Great, my pleasure. Thank you.

PW: Thanks very much, Joe.

Listen to the entire webinar -- or download a podcast for later playback

JM: Okay, great job!

Explore Our Topics

  • EDITOR'S BRIEFING
  • Virtual Conferences
  • Webinars
  • Roundtables

BPM in Action

March 10, 2011

The sixth annual BPM in Action 2011 Virtual Conference will explore cutting-edge market developments in BPM and describe how to leverage them for improved business operation and performance. More

View All Virtual Conferences

Smart Case Management: Why It's So Smart.

Date:Nov 05, 2009
Time:12:00 PM ET- (17:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!

Date:Oct 29, 2009
Time:15:00 PM ET- (19:00 GMT)

REGISTER TODAY!
View All Roundtables
  • Research Library
  • Podcasts
  • News

Joe McKendrick: Part II of II: Designing Evolve-ability into SOA and IT Systems

In part two of Joe McKendrick's recent podcast with Miko Matsumura, chief strategist for Software AG, they talk about how SOA and IT systems need to change and grow and adapt with the organization around it.

Listen Now

Phil Wainewright: Helping Brands Engage with Social Media

Phil Wainewright interviews David Vap, VP of products at RightNow Technologies, and finds out how sharing best practices can help businesses understand how best to engage with online communities.

Listen Now

Peter Schooff: Making Every IT Dollar Result in a Desired Business Outcome: Scott Hebner of IBM Rati

Scott Hebner, Vice President of Marketing and Strategy for IBM Rational, discusses a topic on the top of every company's mind today: getting the most from IT investments.

Listen Now

Jessica Ann Mola: Where Will BI Fit In? Lyndsay Wise Explains

In BI, this tough economy and the increasing role of Web 2.0 and MDM are certainly topics on people's minds today. WiseAnalytics' Lyndsay Wise addresses each of them in this informative podcast.

Listen Now

Dennis Byron: Talking with...Deepak Singh of BPM Provider Adeptia

Deepak Singh, President and CTO of Adeptia, joins ebizQ's Dennis Byron in a podcast that gets its hand around the trend of industry-specific BPM.

Listen Now
More Podcasts
  • Most Popular
  • Quick Guide
  • Most Discussed

Quick Guide: What is BPM?

Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Event Processing?

Smart event processing can help your company run smarter and faster. This comprehensive guide helps you research the basics of complex event processing (CEP) and learn how to get started on the right foot with your CEP project using EDA, RFID, SOA, SCADA and other relevant technologies. Learn More

Quick Guide: What is Enterprise 2.0?

A lot of people are talking about Enterprise 2.0 as being the business application of Web 2.0 technology. However, there's still some debate on exactly what this technology entails, how it applies to today's business models, and which components bring true value. Some use the term Enterprise 2.0 exclusively to describe the use of social networking technologies in the enterprise, while others use it to describe a web economy platform, or the technological framework behind such a platform. Still others say that Enterprise 2.0 is all of these things. Learn More