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  • March 21, 2013

Book review - SOA Made Simple

Chris Muir
Product Manager
A few weeks ago Packt Publishing asked would I review SOA Made Simple, written by Lonneke Dikmans & Ronald van Luttikhuizen. Being a so called FMW expert, but (self-induced) pigeon holed in the ADF space I always take these offers, a good book provides an opportunity to widen my understanding of the topics & keep up with trends. Besides I know Lonneke & Ronald personally from my time as part of the Oracle ACE Directorship before I joined Oracle & they've always impressed me as knowledgeable and down to earth people (and this also declares my bias in reviewing their new book). 

Now I must admit I started reading this book & by the end of chapter one I was concerned the book was going to be an overall dry read, the opening chapter discusses architecture "ontologies", a word that required a careful check of the dictionary on my part.  But with some perseverance & completing chapter two, in fact I completed the rest of the book in one sitting.  Somehow the ontologies grabbed me ;-) 

So where this book makes it, is, to carry the joke forward is in its focus on SOA ontologies, with a careful if not methodical consideration of what makes a SOA project and services and how to proceed.  In less than 300 pages it covers many of the basic SOA concepts you need to know to understand SOA, and also what you'll need to do as part of a SOA project, without getting bogged down in detail. Thus the title SOA Made Simple I guess.

Frank's already given a good run down of the chapters, but to summarize the book first introduces you to different IT architectures and where SOA fits in, then what is a service, the cornerstone of SOA projects. Next how to identify & classify services, & only then are you introduced to the SOA platform, that is the different vendor solutions and their capabilities.  What's a winner at the end of this book is the two chapters entitled "How to Spend Your Money and When" and "Pick your Battles", which seems a delightfully down to earth and pragmatic approach to SOA projects.

Definitely this isn't a book that discusses how to use the SOA tooling from different vendors including Oracle, so don't pick this book up expecting to learn Oracle SOA Suite.  But conversely if you're looking for a concise text to articulate defining and progressing with a SOA project, this is for you.

One other comment I wasn't quite sure where to put in my brief review, is, the book is littered with references to other key SOA and computing texts and papers.  Let's just say for a SOA text this was brilliant idea, because it keeps the overall book digestibly small by not trying to cover all the same information again, but you're free to go read more on the referenced topics if it takes your fancy.

Overall a recommended read for anyone starting out with a SOA project, and for me, a good refresher on the SOA concepts and a concise list of what needs to be done over a SOA project's lifecycle. 

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Comments ( 1 )
  • Bob Rhubart Friday, March 22, 2013

    Nice review, Chris. You can watch a video of my interview with Lonneke and Ronald here: http://youtu.be/mDjTSH21BFU

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