UK Web Focus (Brian Kelly)

Innovation and best practices for the Web

“SOA Is Dead”

Posted by Brian Kelly on 16 Jan 2009

SOA is dead; long live servicesannounced Anne Thomas Manes recently. In her obituary for SOA she wrote:

SOA met its demise on January 1, 2009, when it was wiped out by the catastrophic impact of the economic recession. SOA is survived by its offspring: mashups, BPM, SaaS, Cloud Computing, and all other architectural approaches that depend on “services”.

Her post has attracted a lot of comments, mostly but not all in agreement with her view.

Now I can recall a few years ago there was a lot of excitement about SOA. In retrospect, however, much of this excitement seemed to come from funding bodies rather than developers or users – perhaps the benefits of SOA (reduced costs and greater flexibility) appealed particularly to those responsible for funding IT development rather than those involved in the development work itself.

But is SOA dead, I wonder? Or has it just been over-hyped and applied in inappropriate areas – I’ve heard it suggested, for example, that SOA makes sense in  the context of enterprise applications, but not for networked applications.

What do you think?

2 Responses to ““SOA Is Dead””

  1. SOA is one of those words that means different things to different people. To many people SOA means heavyweight WS-* protocols and SOAP and IBM and other giant consultancies. To me it just means a systematic approach to analysis in order to use services.

  2. That’s because SOA was marketed by IBM and other giant consultancies as heavyweight WS-* protocols and SOAP. ;)

    In that sense, it is dead. In fact, it never really go off the ground except where technical decisions weren’t made by technical people.

    Over the last year there has been a lot of time and money spent on repositioning SOA to mean “small pieces loosely joined” in order to rescue the face of some of those giant consultancies. Steve Vinoski’s SOA posts are a reasonable start: http://steve.vinoski.net/blog/category/soa/

    Brian, have you seen http://www.tekka.net/10/tags.html and http://decafbad.com/blog/2009/01/18/tags-do-work-for-me-at-least ?

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