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"The Road to SOA Is Not So Smooth," Says Anne Thomas Manes

SOA Adoption Efforts Derailed By 3 Major Stumbling Blocks, Says Burton Group Report

Burton Group recently released an in-depth research report that points to three significant impediments that are slowing adoption of service-oriented architecture (SOA). The report, "Vantage Point 2005-2006 SOA Reality Check," highlights SOA infrastructure, design and culture as hurdles to SOA uptake.

Burton Group recommends that, to succeed with SOA, enterprises must address all three – one technical, two behavioral:

  1. SOA infrastructure: The Web services framework may be appropriate for building point-to-point connections, but it's not quite ready for true SOA. Advanced capabilities -- particularly policy-based management and control -- are still being defined. For the moment, an enterprise must adopt proprietary policy administration and enforcement solutions until policy standards mature.
  2. Design: SOA requires a different approach to application design; therefore, an enterprise must train developers in SOA design principles and best practices.
  3. Culture: Most organizations' incentive systems are in opposition to SOA; therefore, an enterprise must institute new incentives to encourage the adoption of SOA.

Burton Group research director and SOA Web Services Journal editorial advisory board member Anne Thomas Manes (pictured) says: "Despite agreement that SOA will enable better flexibility and agility, there's still debate as to what exactly SOA is and how to implement it. As an architectural style, SOA is a set of design principles and best practices whose goal is to develop reusable services."

The report details how, while core concepts behind SOA focus on loose coupling, the industry has not yet codified SOA principles and practices into well-defined design patterns. It concludes practitioners are still learning, and raging debates prevail.

"The road to SOA is not so smooth," says Manes. "SOA requires good planning and willingness to change."

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