Monday, January 05, 2009

SOA versus SOI continued

Five or six years into the discussion (or 20 depending on who you ask), the debate is still going on what SOA is and what SOA is not. Is it any wonder folks are questioning SOA's value? We are still having debates on what it is. Here are a few links in case you are still recovering from New Years. My take on this is below the links.

David Linthicum's take

Anne Thomas Manes take
. Love the cartoon by the way.

Zapthink's take

Joe McKendrick's take

Most of the current discussion is around the role of Integration in SOA. The discussion is fairly well covered in the above posts. I would add that agility was a goal of EAI. Agility was achieved by the construction of loosely coupled services within the EAI framework. Yes services existed, do exist, within the EAI space. EAI was not about connecting System A to System B. It was not about data synch or data replication. That stuff is basic integration. EAI was about abstraction, reuse and agility. Don't believe me? Do a search on EAI and see what the vendors and analyst were talking about.

The problem with EAI then is the same problem with SOA now. Only a handful of companies understood it and even fewer could implement it. It was hard and it took more effort. A lot folks went out and bought EAI packages and thought that was going to do it for them. Abstraction, reuse, agility, decoupling the enterprise comes from hard work, solid architecture and standards. There are not any shortcuts that software or packages provide. At the same time it doesn't have to be rip and replace. Start small and get good at it.

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