muSOAing for 12/06/09

Here is one oversimplified (grossly) answer to the question what is SOA?

A decade and a half ago when this new thing called Java appeared over our horizon like a silver lining, the common question was what is OOP. So you put on your programmers cap and started spewing out all this arcane jargon about Inheritence, Polymorphism, Abstraction blah, blah. Their eyes glazed over so you switched to reusable objects, libraries, cross platform and then you saw a gleam of recognition.

Well that is sort of the state we are with SOA right now. So bottom line is it ultimately boils down to your humble service without which you cannot have SOA. You percolate (or should I say distill) up to the plateau of SOA once you have a critical mass of services and as it starts growing you start climbing this peak called Service Oriented Architecture.

There is one caveat, what I just mentioned is sort of an aftereffect of a much bigger process called SOA Roadmap and Top down SOA design because with SOA it is always Business first and Technology last. You have to socialize this fact that SOA is an enterprise wide effort and it is sort of a War you are embarking on and to win the war you have to fight a lot of successful battles.

One of these small but critical battles is the modeling and design of your services. Service Modeling can become it’s own job function like Information Architect. There is so much to do in Service Modeling that this person has to be a TechoFunctional superstar to make your service design effort a successful affair or at least possess those soft skills to be able to work with Business to determine service candidates and granularity level of services.

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