Break New Ground

Who killed SOA?

Bob Rhubart
Community Manager, Oracle Groundbreakers Team

The reactions to Anne Thomas Manes pronouncement of the termination of SOA's life functions are piling up like cars on a icy interstate, and I can think of no reason I shouldn't drive right into the pile.

Ms. Manes' well-reasoned and thoughtful blog post (SOA is Dead; Long Live Services) suffers from a too-catchy headline, a headline that in my particular case triggered misperceptions that, unfortunately, weren't dispelled until mid-way through the article.

That's ironic, given that Ms. Manes' article blames the demise of SOA on misperceptions. She accurately pins SOA's less than stellar track record on the widespread and pervasive misperception that SOA is a technical issue resolved solely by technological means. But she doesn't really make that point until the sixth paragraph of an eight-paragraph article:

Successful SOA (i.e., application re-architecture) requires disruption to the status quo. SOA is not simply a matter of deploying new technology and building service interfaces to existing applications; it requires redesign of the application portfolio. And it requires a massive shift in the way IT operates. The small select group of organizations that has seen spectacular gains from SOA did so by treating it as an agent of transformation. In each of these success stories, SOA was just one aspect of the transformation effort. And here’s the secret to success: SOA needs to be part of something bigger. If it isn’t, then you need to ask yourself why you’ve been doing it.

Misperception and misunderstanding are symptoms of poor communication.  The struggle for clear, effective communication is a 24/7/365 endeavor that touches everyone .

There's a reason communication pops up as often as it does on this blog. Architects are in the transformation business. For all architects, but particularly for those at the enterprise and system levels, all the technical insight and experience in the world is of little value if they can't clearly and effectively communicate the what, why, and how of transformation.


Read Ms. Mane's post: Application Platform Strategies Blog: SOA is Dead; Long Live Services


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Comments ( 2 )
  • Dave Berry Friday, June 12, 2009
    isn't this just another example of [how] only having the tools (to publish blogs) can lead to a failed implementation (of the message)?
  • Bob Rhubart Friday, June 12, 2009
    An excellent point, Dave. In the Information Technology industry, bad information will always trump even the best technology. And far too often, it seems, the source of bad information is ineffective communication. Great IT involves the complex interplay and balance of people, process, and technology. IT is very much a three-legged stool.
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