Saturday, April 27, 2013

SOA is Dead again?

Winchester Mystery House  Picture source: Wikipedia

On January 05, 2009 Burton Group's Analyst Ann Thomas Manes, published a controversial blog post titled: SOA is Dead; Long Live Services.

Few days ago I answered an ebizQ Forum's question: 

How important is SOA to a company's mobile strategy? Only two experts (including me) answered the question.

SOA Questions asked in the same ebizQ Forum two or three years ago where frequently answered by 10 or 15 experts.

Is the lack of interest in SOA (despite the Mobile context included in the question) an indication of SOA's final death? I do not think so.

I have to agree with Mark Twain's saying: "The reports of my death have been greatly exaggerated".
As far as SOA is concerned, Mark Twain's saying could be paraphrased as: The reports of SOA's death have been greatly exaggerated.

Whinchester Mystery House is a well-known mansion in Northern California. According to Wikipedia: "It was continuously under construction for 38 years and is reported to be haunted".
If you would like to know, why it was continuously under construction for 38 years, you could read the article in Wikipedia.

About ten years ago, I worked as a freelance Consultant, for Giga Information Group (which was acquired afterwards by Forrester Research). 

Giga Information's analyst Phil Murphy, used
Whinchester Mystery House continuous construction, as an analogy to Information Technology strategy: 
Every few years we (Information Technology community) invent new technology, new architecture or new concepts and renounce older concepts, technologies, architectures etc. 

However, the term renounce, in this context, could be defined as something we frequently use but seldom talking about. 
For example, The Mainframe which was "dead" more than twenty years ago is still alive and kicking.

More than ten years ago, I asked for Service Based implementation references sites.

The reference sites requested were Mainframe sites, because a client considered Core Systems development initiative, based on Mainframe infrastructure and Service based approach.   

As usual with Leading Age Technology, many reference were too small or in early development stages or irrelevant.

Only one reference site was impressive. It was a Finish site. 
The site success could be partially explained by, their previous successful implementation of Component Based systems.

My Take
Phil Murphy's Whinchester Mystery House analogy is today as relevant as it was 10 years ago. 

We talked ten years about SOA and now we are talking about Mobile Computing, Cloud Computing etc.
In  ten years IT workers will stop talking about Mobile Computing and talk about other concept or technology.

Although, nobody is talking about SOA, it is a frequently used Mainstream concept,architecture and technologies.  

The trouble is that successful and relevant reference sites numbers are still too small.

Those who successfully implemented yesterday's concepts and technologies, will usually succeed in implementing the new concepts and technologies.

Those who fail to realize yesterday's technologies Value Proposition, will usually miss tomorrow's technologies Value as well.  

As far as SOA is concerned, many of the failing enterprises need urgently Consulting services in order to succeed.


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