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SOA doesn't just change software architectures, replacing monolithic applications with collections of ad hoc services -- it also dramatically transforms the roles and responsibilities of developers.

Each SOA service is, in effect, a mini-product that must stand on its own as a well-understood and useful program, intelligible not only to the local development team, but also to software architects, data center engineers, and business analysts in other departments and divisions. Accordingly, each SOA developer must become coder, product manager, documentation specialist, and software architect, all rolled into one. Neglect any of these jobs, and the SOA service might fail as a mini-product. As with traditional software products, user frustrations and trouble tickets will likely result.

For example, without adequate or up-to-date documentation, a SOA service might be misconfigured or overlooked entirely. Its original "customer" or user community-business analysts in one department, for example-might use the service successfully, while other "customers" in other departments find the service inscrutable or defective. If developers have trouble assuming this broader role and taking direct responsibility for delivering complete mini-products, the re-usability of their SOA services will be jeopardized. If the re-usability of SOA services declines, so will the ROI of the organization's overall SOA investment.

To maximize the ROI on SOA investments, enterprise development environments must be tuned to each phase of the SOA development cycle and to every requirement of an intelligible, useful SOA service. Enterprises cannot afford to let SOA development be a siloed operation, cut off from business analysts and business stakeholders who are the ultimate users of SOA solutions for business process automation. Rather, SOA developers should have access to all the people and data necessary to build, deploy, and optimize the most effective SOA components.

The SOA development environment must expand to keep up with developers' broadening responsibilities. The development environment must connect developers to a potentially ever-changing collection of testers, architects, and users. The development environment must put all the domain expertise and toolsets of these various groups right at the developer's fingertips.


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