Do SOA and enterprise architecture now mean the same thing

 

In a recent blog post, Joe McKendrick poses the question that I have been playing around with for a while regarding where and how SOA fits into EA.  He mentions that:

Dave Linthicum predicted a couple of years back that SOA would be absorbed into EA. SOA is just good EA, he said.

Do SOA and enterprise architecture now mean the same thing? | ZDNet

I agree that SOA is good EA done at the Technology Architecture level, but is unique in that it has more and more relevance to the Business Architecture with each passing year (as oppose to decreasing in importance)

 

He also poses this great question:

“Also, is it likely that all major technology expressions these days have elements of service orientation about them, so EA automatically = SOA on some level?”

I agree, but might turn it around to be : SOA can be an automatic part of EA if it driven by the precepts that are derived from EA at higher levels of the architecture.  It is possible to use SOA technologies to simply do a “better” version of PTP integration.  And, in fact, there is some value in doing that, but it is not relevant to EA at that level of maturity. 

I often talk about “Services” – with a capitol “S” – to distinguish them from “services.”  The difference being that Services have been vetted as being truly worthy at a Enterprise level.  That is where SOA appears on the EA radar; where SOA has the chance of positively impacting the organization’s agility, simplify IT, and drive costs down.  All of these things are the mantra of any EA effort.

 

Thoughts?

Comments:

Hello Pat, There can be enterprise architectures which are good that do not use a SOA. SOA is for me a paradigm and a subset of EA. But maybe we get into a principle discussion again of what a SOA is. Is a enterprise with one application a SOA? For the moment I go for SOA > EA but not the other way around. Regards Roger

Posted by Roger van de Kimmenade on September 16, 2010 at 08:24 PM EDT #

Hello, Enterprise Architecture is about the Enterprise, it's about outlining and unpack the inherent complexity that exists within any organisation. Service Oriented Architecture is not necessary about the Enterprise but about specific implementations of potentially enterprise wide systems. EA is not necessarily about technology but about the organisation, how it works, how it's connected, what it produces and what it manages. SOA is not necessarily about the Enterprise but about technology and how software and systems that the enterprise makes use of are put together and implemented. There is no doubt that EA and SOA are related but to say EA = SOA is ,respectfully not the case. Regards, Dominique dHotman

Posted by Dominique dHotman on September 17, 2010 at 01:20 AM EDT #

Agree completely that they are not one and the same. The article is really about calling out the fuzzy line between Service Oriented Architecture (which is NOT about technology, but rather an architecture for creating IT services irrespective of technology) and Enterprise Architecture. Net net is that EA should drive SOA, not the other way around.

Posted by pat.shepherd on September 17, 2010 at 01:45 AM EDT #

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