Friday, May 08, 2009


In addition to my webMethods stuff, I've being doing a fair amount of .Net stuff lately. I decided to run through the new MVC framework tutorial from Microsoft just to see their new take on this old pattern. The tutorial is located here.

I must give props to folks over at the ASP.NET web site. They have done a very nice job with the content on MVC. This particular tutorial was very straightforward and explained MVC very well. If you are inclined to check it out pay particular attention to section 4 on abstraction and loose coupling. That is really good stuff. This section is written in terms of OO concepts but they apply as well to the services world. Thomas Erl explains some of the differences between OO and services here and here if you want more detail.

MVC has long been a highly regarded pattern in the user interface world. The interesting thing is this same pattern with some modification can be used in the SOA world even when GUIs are not involved. The Service Facade pattern as explained here by Thomas Erl is closely related in concept to MVC. There are differences but I think you will see the overlap and the potential of MVC in the services world.

I think one of the biggest mistakes some developers and architects make when jumping into the SOA world is to wrap existing stuff in a standards based interface and then go at it directly. While there is really nothing wrong with wrapping existing stuff in a standard based interface, invoking it directly is another issue. Spending some time with the Facade pattern and MVC can pay off in a more agile and resilient set of services. I have personally found that the associated overhead of these extra layers of abstraction are minimal and well worth the small cost.

Rob Eamon has also gone through some MVC content and has posted his thoughts on the Nerd Dinner walk through on his blog. Check that out when you get the chance.