Click here to close now.

Welcome!

Microservices Journal Authors: Elizabeth White, SmartBear Blog, Liz McMillan, Louis Evans, Pat Romanski

Related Topics: Microservices Journal

Microservices Journal: Article

SOA Web Services Editorial: Lego My SOA

IT commercials currently on parade for your enjoyment contains some mention of service-oriented architecture

Just about every publication, marketing brochure, and IT commercial currently on parade for your enjoyment contains some mention of service-oriented architecture. If products were still sold in boxes, instead of downloaded, you would see a bright sticker on the box saying "New and Improved: Now with SOA." Instead of Fuller brushes, today's sales wiz now pushes SOA - it's good for what ails you.

Now don't get me wrong - I'm more or less in favor of SOA, although I do believe there are times when it is inappropriate for use. But after all, this is a magazine devoted to SOA, so as its editor, you can bet I find those inappropriate times few and far between. SOA is a concept that works naturally in a partitioned application world - it allows the natural creation of interfaces and construction of software from basic services. A previous generation of coders might have recognized this as the same mantra used by proponents of component-based development, with increased interoperability being the added bonus of the current SOA strategy. And to an extent they'd be right - SOA is a modern software Lego set. Need security? Grab that piece there. Logging - this little piece over here. Have to connect billing to order management? Get that little connector thingamabob. All in all, it's a very neat, logical concept that resonates well with the logical mind of a programmer or architect.

However the joy of SOA tends to blind architects, programmers, and other techies to the cold, hard facts of SOA: once you get it set up, you still have to build the user interface.

I know, SOA is about computer-to-computer communication, right? At least that's what vendors and consultants would like you to believe. But that's a bunch of hogwash. In the end, SOA is about doing business better. If it doesn't help you do that, what possible justification do you have for changing to it? There is none. In fact, justification of the cost of change is often the first thing that kills a prospective SOA implementation. If it doesn't save money or make money, it's not going to happen in today's economy.

But let's get back to the front, or rather the front end, at least. Service-oriented architecture makes it easy to create composite services, or rather, business processes. Processes can be wired together from prebuilt services in a manner that is inconceivable when looked at from the perspective of 40 years of previous software development. And yet with Web services, some transaction management and a little business process management thrown in for good measure, it's very reasonable to rewire an entire process in a very short period of time.

And then it hits: because the reality is that while some business processes don't require the computer to interact with a human being (or reasonable facsimile), most of them (the business processes, not the human or reasonable facsimile) do. That's the wall, the spot where we run out of Lego.

I'll admit there are good tools out there for creating user interfaces in short periods of time. But I'll also challenge you to get past the HUMAN part of the equation - by this I mean getting users to agree on things like colors, field lengths, screen resolutions, order of presentation, etc., ad nauseam. You can't do it - the user interface always takes longer and costs more. As much as you might want to move quickly, user interface is the most contentious task in software design. You need consensus, and sponsorship and time.

And that's where the speed tends to fall off of SOA. It's great for creating the services, but it has yet to really develop fully towards quickly and easily deploying the processes so that people can use them. Guess we still need a few more pieces of Lego.

More Stories By Sean Rhody

Sean Rhody is the founding-editor (1999) and editor-in-chief of SOA World Magazine. He is a respected industry expert on SOA and Web Services and a consultant with a leading consulting services company. Most recently, Sean served as the tech chair of SOA World Conference & Expo 2007 East.

Comments (2) View Comments

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.


Most Recent Comments
SYS-CON Brazil News Desk 03/06/06 03:43:54 PM EST

Just about every publication, marketing brochure, and IT commercial currently on parade for your enjoyment contains some mention of service-oriented architecture. If products were still sold in boxes, instead of downloaded, you would see a bright sticker on the box saying 'New and Improved: Now with SOA.' Instead of Fuller brushes, today's sales wiz now pushes SOA - it's good for what ails you.

SYS-CON Belgium News Desk 03/06/06 03:03:16 PM EST

Just about every publication, marketing brochure, and IT commercial currently on parade for your enjoyment contains some mention of service-oriented architecture. If products were still sold in boxes, instead of downloaded, you would see a bright sticker on the box saying 'New and Improved: Now with SOA.' Instead of Fuller brushes, today's sales wiz now pushes SOA - it's good for what ails you.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Chef and Canonical announced a partnership to integrate and distribute Chef with Ubuntu. Canonical is integrating the Chef automation platform with Canonical's Machine-As-A-Service (MAAS), enabling users to automate the provisioning, configuration and deployment of bare metal compute resources in the data center. Canonical is packaging Chef 12 server in upcoming distributions of its Ubuntu open source operating system and will provide commercial support for Chef within its user base.
A few weeks ago, SmartBear hosted API Craft Boston with the folks from Akana, Ian Goldsmith and Laura Heritage, to talk about microservices. It was an extremely informative presentation of where microservices came from, what it solves, and considerations around how it might fit into an organizational API strategy. It’s one thing to read everyone else’s opinions on blogs, twitter, etc. It’s great to go to workshops and conferences, but this was so intelligently presented (and for a meetup too)...
While DevOps most critically and famously fosters collaboration, communication, and integration through cultural change, culture is more of an output than an input. In order to actively drive cultural evolution, organizations must make substantial organizational and process changes, and adopt new technologies, to encourage a DevOps culture. Moderated by Andi Mann, panelists will discuss how to balance these three pillars of DevOps, where to focus attention (and resources), where organizations m...
Today, the demand for new applications is growing at an unprecedented rate throughout lines of business and across industries. Customer expectations for mobile and e-commerce capabilities are transforming software development speed and quality into a competitive differentiator for even the most unlikely businesses. For existing software development shops, the proliferation of platforms, increasing need for total global uptime, and accelerating pace of industry disruption by fast-paced startups h...
of cloud, colocation, managed services and disaster recovery solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. TierPoint, LLC, is a leading national provider of information technology and data center services, including cloud, colocation, disaster recovery and managed IT services, with corporate headquarters in St. Louis, MO. TierPoint was formed through the strategic combination of some of t...
How do you securely enable access to your applications in AWS without exposing any attack surfaces? The answer is usually very complicated because application environments morph over time in response to growing requirements from your employee base, your partners and your customers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Haseeb Budhani, CEO and Co-founder of Soha, will share five common approaches that DevOps teams follow to secure access to applications deployed in AWS, Azure, etc., and the frict...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Soha will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit New York, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Soha delivers enterprise-grade application security, on any device, as agile as the cloud. This turnkey, cloud-based service enables customers to solve secure application access and delivery challenges that traditional or virtualized network solutions cannot solve because they are too expensive, inflexible and operational...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Vicom Computer Services, Inc., a provider of technology and service solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. They are located at booth #427. Vicom Computer Services, Inc. is a progressive leader in the technology industry for over 30 years. Headquartered in the NY Metropolitan area. Vicom provides products and services based on today’s requirements...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Ciqada will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Ciqada™ makes it easy to connect your products to the Internet. By integrating key components - hardware, servers, dashboards, and mobile apps - into an easy-to-use, configurable system, your products can quickly and securely join the internet of things. With remote monitoring, control, and alert messaging capability, you will mee...
What exactly is a cognitive application? In her session at 16th Cloud Expo, Ashley Hathaway, Product Manager at IBM Watson, will look at the services being offered by the IBM Watson Developer Cloud and what that means for developers and Big Data. She'll explore how IBM Watson and its partnerships will continue to grow and help define what it means to be a cognitive service, as well as take a look at the offerings on Bluemix. She will also check out how Watson and the Alchemy API team up to off...
Thought experiment: let’s say your app gets a message from somewhere, perhaps from another app, but you don’t know from where. The message contains the number 47 but no other information. What should your app do with the message? The answer: nothing. There’s no way for your app to make any sense out of a single datum with no context, no additional information or metadata about the datum itself. Now, let’s scale up this thought experiment to a data lake. There are a few common definitions o...
The 17th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. 17th International Cloud Expo, to be held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, APM, APIs, Microservices, Security, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps and WebRTC to one location. With cloud computing driving a higher percentage of enterprise IT budgets every year, it becomes increasingly important to plant your flag in this fast-expanding bu...
Change becomes the central principle of today’s enterprises, and thus business agility becomes the most important characteristic our organizations must exhibit. Agile Architecture lays out a best practice approach for achieving this agility – and thus drives and coordinates the other revolutions, as both digital and DevOps are about being able to deal with change better as well.
The concept and subsequent adoption of 'Containerization'' is growing at a rapid speed with the support of almost every other major player in the industry. This concept is much more efficient than the Virtualization which has been a major option for Infrastructure optimization in the past decade. The following factors distinguish a Container from a Virtual Machine. Containers contain Only the Application Specific libraries and binaries. They do not include a guest operating system. Rather ...
There's a real buzz about microservices and containers in the application development and DevOps communities, and of course these are topics we've been talking about a great deal lately here at XebiaLabs too. Microservices and containers offer many attractive features, not least the potential for enhanced flexibility, and a robust architecture based on best-fit services. What we at XebiaLabs are really interested in is how organizations can effectively deliver microservices-based apps to bett...
Financial services organizations were among the earliest enterprise adopters of cloud computing. The ability to leverage massive compute, storage and networking resources via RESTful APIs and automated tools like Chef and Puppet made it possible for their high-horsepower IT users to develop a whole new array of applications. Companies like Wells Fargo, Fidelity and BBVA are visible, vocal and engaged supporters of the OpenStack community, running production clouds for applications ranging from d...
As we recently previewed (read more about our London PoP in Jesse's post), Blue Box is opening a new Data Center in London, but hadn't announced the provider. Today we're excited to partner with TelecityGroup, whom we've selected as our data center partner in London. We chose their Powergate location, which is one of the U.K.'s most advanced, flexible and energy efficient carrier-neutral data centres. Why does that matter to you? Well, when customers choose Blue Box, they're trusting us with ...
Cloud Expo New York is happening from June 9 - 11. This event brings together the worlds of Cloud Computing, DevOps, IoT, WebRTC, Big Data and SDDC. We hope to see you there-members of the Blue Box team will exhibit in booth 218 next to the DevOps area. Plus, our Chief Product Officer, Hernan Alvarez, will present his talk "The Cloud Has a Down-and-Dirty Lining" as part of the Operations track in the DevOps Summit portion of the event on June 9 at 11 am. Learn more about his session her...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Column Technologies, a global technology solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's DevOps Summit 2015 New York, which will take place June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Established in 1998, Column Technologies is a leader in application performance and infrastructure management for commercial and federal markets. The company is headquartered in the United States, with a diverse and talented team of more than 350 employees around th...
The 5th International DevOps Summit, co-located with 17th International Cloud Expo – being held November 3-5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – announces that its Call for Papers is open. Born out of proven success in agile development, cloud computing, and process automation, DevOps is a macro trend you cannot afford to miss. From showcase success stories from early adopters and web-scale businesses, DevOps is expanding to organizations of all sizes, including the...