Friday, June 11, 2010

SOA Forum 2010 - Asset-based SOA

A total of 203 attendees met at the annual SOA Forum in Zürich last week. The pre-conference day was made up of four half-day sessions around the topics of SOA Security, BPM, Business Service Modelling and SOA Testing. 175 attendees came for the conference main day. The topic of this year's event was the industrialization of SOA based on reusabel assets.

As keynote speaker Massimo Pezzini of Garnter pointed out: assets come in many flavours. They can be infrastructure (SOA backplane), documentation, process templates, organizational templates, skills ... and people! Massimo differentiated three different SOA-flavours: RPC, WOA (request-driven, REST) and Event-driven SOA.

Keynote speaker Anne Thomas Manes talked about the reincarnation of SOA. 18 months ago Anne published a eulogy on SOA. This eulogy wasn't praise more than lamentation at the demise of a promising development - that met it's untimely dead because of hype and wrong application. A talent wasted?

Well - SOA's resurrection happened. Although the connotation here is somewhat religious. Anne suggests to avoid all religious and fundamentalist mindsets when applying technology and architecture. SOA is a logical choice and sine-qua-non for many problems. But it's not a panacea. An opinion that was reflected in the panel discussion.

The wrong approach to SOA - according to Anne - consisted of too strong a technology focus (ESBs, appliances, WS-stacks, governance tools and so on) and too little focus on architecture. Frequently systems were built with an integration mindset which is akin to putting lipstick on a pig (Anne has a lovely picture in her slidedeck). Ultimately this led to high maintenance costs. According to her figures the development of a system is only 7-15% of the TCO - the rest is maintenance. IT budget cuts mean that innovation comes to a screeching halt because there is not much opportunity to reduce maintenance costs.

The reincarnation of SOA consists of seeing the big picture rather than technologies and point solutions. She recommends to learn from the Web 2.0 technologies and help enterprise software break out from the firewall. Externalization, consumerization and democratization of IT are the keywords here. A sentiment echoed by Zapthink and others.

SOA's reincarnation is driven by the application of design principles and architecture instead of focussing on technology. SOA principles are applied through:

When these principles are applied correctly a system should exhibit the following characteristics:
  • Modular
  • Distributable
  • Discoverable
  • Swappable
  • Shareable

The SOA Forum presentations can be accessed under the following URI:

 Username:    soaforum_main
Passwort:      assets

No comments: