Recession and SOA.  The headlines you read these days are “SOA is dead”,  “SOA is a nice to have”, “SOA is discretionary spending” blah, blah, blah.   Whole lot of sensationalism dished out by armchair SOA pontificators out to grab attention.  Let me tell you one thing, SOA is very much alive and kicking and in this recession,  SOA is exactly what the doctor ordered.   Want to know why?  Well, then keep following this blog and I will post my thoughts on how SOA can help organizations in several key areas.

SOA is the McDonalds of the Integration world it is recession proof,   Period.    Here are a few reasons why,

  1. SOA lends itself to various Integration methodologies,  Big Picture top down modeling,  Ground up low level modeling  or a Hybrid approach that combines elements of the two or two seperate tracks that can merge at some meaningful meeting point.
  2. SOA standards are aplenty and have been widely accepted and implemented by technology domains hitherto considered as rivals such as the Microsoft and Java worlds.
  3. SOA is a unique concept comprising of a wide array of technologies that actually straddles the Business and Technology worlds.   It can be viewed at from a high level by non-technical business folks in terms of business processes and functions through enablers such as BPM and CEP engines and it can be low level and complex enough to satisfy that hard core technologist thru standards and myriad tools, technologies and standards  such as ESBs,  JAX-WS, Axis2,  JAXB,  SAAJ etc.
  4. SOA truly enables standards based many to many integration.   Just think about it,  all you need as a client is a WSDL.  You truly need not worry about what the backend is.  You have access to this service.  The backend can be SAP, .NET,  Mainframe but you as a client are agnostic of it.
  5. With SOA the thick line between EAI and B2B truly vanishes.   You do not need disparate technologies and standards to avail of these compartmentalized concept.   Before the advent of true SOA,  you had to have two separate strategies one each for EAI and one for B2B each supported by various heterogenous technologies and standards.
  6. Your EAI strategy might have involved the use of a one of these patterns,  Hub and Spoke,  Point to Point or Adapter based integration.  In most cases without the support of any standards such as XML or Canonicalization of your data sets.  For B2B you might have used peer to peer engines that implemented standards such as RosettaNet,  HIPAA etc.
  7. SOA easily crosses this chasm.  With SOA your integration standards remain the same, primarily driven by a WSDL/XML schema driven pattern preferably supported by Canonical schemas.    It is very easy to expose a service to the outer world and get it out of your intranet with your trading partner sharing the same WSDL and Schema specifications and the enforcement of more stringent security such as a challenge based authentication system etc.

Well I can keep going but these should suffice for now.  I will be articulating more points in my subsequent postings in a bit more detail.


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