SOA: Dawn of the Dead

The blogosphere is buzzing in the wake of this post from Burton analyst Anne Manes, which begins with this flame-bait proclamation: "SOA met its demise on January 1, 2009, when it was wiped out by the catastrophic impact of the economic recession."

The response is best characterized by this tweet from @madgreek65, aka Mike Kavis:


...with the best extended counter-argument, IMO, from @DaveChappell ("SOA is Alive and Well No Matter What It's Called"). Sure, Dave is the Chief SOA Technologist at Oracle and is biased, but he's also in a very good position in terms of vantage point.

Dave notes in his post that in a different venue, Anne had clarified her original post by stating that her main objection is to the use of the term "SOA" as a value statement in itself. To use a metaphor, instead of Toyota selling me on hybrid drivetrain technology, it should be selling me on the quality of life that 45-miles-per-gallon will provide. So, if I understand Anne's true premise correctly, then SOA isn't dead - but the way vendors and IT have been selling the business on it certainly may be. (If she had made this point more clear, her post would likely have made not a ripple.)

Oh, where should I start with the historical parallels? With AI, which in truth being neither "artificial" nor "intelligent", was mis-marketed to management by vendors as well as IT? With CRM or BI, which never were about technology, but rather about business practice cultural change? Or with the most recent example yet - "Web 2.0" - which actually has very little to do with the Web? Funny, sounds like politics, which has become an argument more about linguistics and "framing" of issues than the issues themselves.

My point is that we've been on this ride before, just in reference to different problems. The problems remain with us, whatever we choose to call the solution - so to call the solution "dead" simply as the result of ineffective communication would suggest a misunderstanding of the word "dead". Oh, the irony.


My irony may have been a bit thick, but I'd like to think that the story (true - honest!) of my friend Eric the Architect should have set a few people straight when it comes to 'SOA':

Posted by Paul Gallagher on January 31, 2009 at 08:25 AM PST #

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