Tuesday, March 15, 2005

I keep on reading about SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and how its some sort of silver bullet. I then read as many critics about how (1) SOA is actually just stateless RPC (2) over Web Services; (3) its no silver bullet - cannot do X, Y, Z; (4) it already exists in many companies using different protocols; etc, etc, etc.

I fear that many miss the point and get confused between the architects point of view and the sales-man's/advocate point of view.

The sales man wants to sell an idea because he's either wants to make a profit by providing a consulting service; or is some sort of idealistic fanatic.

The architect/researcher's point of view is that the SOA concept has been identified as a real and worthwhile enterprise pattern. The discussion and research around SOA is focused on increasing the total understanding around how to apply the concept to the enterprise, what the implications and limitations are and how to cleanly implement the pattern across a large enterprise. Two points to consider - (a) It is better to have a well understood enterprise architecture whose implications and limitations are well researched than having an architecture arise without control and without understanding its limitations, (b) SOA is mostly applicable to a subset of problems.

Now sometimes ...

the advocate/fanatics miss point (b) - so they advocate SOA everywhere.
the critics dont understand (b) - so they dont see the value of the pattern.
the architects dont understand (b) - so they try to apply the pattern to every problem.

...

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