Click here to close now.




















Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Tim Hinds, Liz McMillan, Tom Lounibos, Pat Romanski, Lori MacVittie

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: 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
Approved this February by the Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF), HTTP/2 is the first major update to HTTP since 1999, when HTTP/1.1 was standardized. Designed with performance in mind, one of the biggest goals of HTTP/2 implementation is to decrease latency while maintaining a high-level compatibility with HTTP/1.1. Though not all testing activities will be impacted by the new protocol, it's important for testers to be aware of any changes moving forward.
"We've just seen a huge influx of new partners coming into our ecosystem, and partners building unique offerings on top of our API set," explained Seth Bostock, Chief Executive Officer at IndependenceIT, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 16th Cloud Expo, held June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City.
This week, I joined SOASTA as Senior Vice President of Performance Analytics. Given my background in cloud computing and distributed systems operations — you may have read my blogs on CNET or GigaOm — this may surprise you, but I want to explain why this is the perfect time to take on this opportunity with this team. In fact, that’s probably the best way to break this down. To explain why I’d leave the world of infrastructure and code for the world of data and analytics, let’s explore the timing...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HPM Networks will exhibit at the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. For 20 years, HPM Networks has been integrating technology solutions that solve complex business challenges. HPM Networks has designed solutions for both SMB and enterprise customers throughout the San Francisco Bay Area.
One of the ways to increase scalability of services – and applications – is to go “stateless.” The reasons for this are many, but in general by eliminating the mapping between a single client and a single app or service instance you eliminate the need for resources to manage state in the app (overhead) and improve the distributability (I can make up words if I want) of requests across a pool of instances. The latter occurs because sessions don’t need to hang out and consume resources that could ...
You often hear the two titles of "DevOps" and "Immutable Infrastructure" used independently. In his session at DevOps Summit, John Willis, Technical Evangelist for Docker, covered the union between the two topics and why this is important. He provided an overview of Immutable Infrastructure then showed how an Immutable Continuous Delivery pipeline can be applied as a best practice for "DevOps." He ended the session with some interesting case study examples.
The Software Defined Data Center (SDDC), which enables organizations to seamlessly run in a hybrid cloud model (public + private cloud), is here to stay. IDC estimates that the software-defined networking market will be valued at $3.7 billion by 2016. Security is a key component and benefit of the SDDC, and offers an opportunity to build security 'from the ground up' and weave it into the environment from day one. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Reuven Harrison, CTO and Co-Founder of Tufin,...
JavaScript is primarily a client-based dynamic scripting language most commonly used within web browsers as client-side scripts to interact with the user, browser, and communicate asynchronously to servers. If you have been part of any web-based development, odds are you have worked with JavaScript in one form or another. In this article, I'll focus on the aspects of JavaScript that are relevant within the Node.js environment.
Alibaba, the world’s largest ecommerce provider, has pumped over a $1 billion into its subsidiary, Aliya, a cloud services provider. This is perhaps one of the biggest moments in the global Cloud Wars that signals the entry of China into the main arena. Here is why this matters. The cloud industry worldwide is being propelled into fast growth by tremendous demand for cloud computing services. Cloud, which is highly scalable and offers low investment and high computational capabilities to end us...
Learn how to solve the problem of keeping files in sync between multiple Docker containers. In his session at 16th Cloud Expo, Aaron Brongersma, Senior Infrastructure Engineer at Modulus, discussed using rsync, GlusterFS, EBS and Bit Torrent Sync. He broke down the tools that are needed to help create a seamless user experience. In the end, can we have an environment where we can easily move Docker containers, servers, and volumes without impacting our applications? He shared his results so yo...
Auto-scaling environments, micro-service architectures and globally-distributed teams are just three common examples of why organizations today need automation and interoperability more than ever. But is interoperability something we simply start doing, or does it require a reexamination of our processes? And can we really improve our processes without first making interoperability a requirement for how we choose our tools?
Cloud Migration Management (CMM) refers to the best practices for planning and managing migration of IT systems from a legacy platform to a Cloud Provider through a combination professional services consulting and software tools. A Cloud migration project can be a relatively simple exercise, where applications are migrated ‘as is’, to gain benefits such as elastic capacity and utility pricing, but without making any changes to the application architecture, software development methods or busine...
The Internet of Things. Cloud. Big Data. Real-Time Analytics. To those who do not quite understand what these phrases mean (and let’s be honest, that’s likely to be a large portion of the world), words like “IoT” and “Big Data” are just buzzwords. The truth is, the Internet of Things encompasses much more than jargon and predictions of connected devices. According to Parker Trewin, Senior Director of Content and Communications of Aria Systems, “IoT is big news because it ups the ante: Reach out ...
At DevOps Summit NY there’s been a whole lot of talk about not just DevOps, but containers, IoT, and microservices. Sessions focused not just on the cultural shift needed to grow at scale with a DevOps approach, but also made sure to include the network ”plumbing” needed to ensure success as applications decompose into the microservice architectures enabling rapid growth and support for the Internet of (Every)Things.
Our guest on the podcast this week is Adrian Cockcroft, Technology Fellow at Battery Ventures. We discuss what makes Docker and Netflix highly successful, especially through their use of well-designed IT architecture and DevOps.
Explosive growth in connected devices. Enormous amounts of data for collection and analysis. Critical use of data for split-second decision making and actionable information. All three are factors in making the Internet of Things a reality. Yet, any one factor would have an IT organization pondering its infrastructure strategy. How should your organization enhance its IT framework to enable an Internet of Things implementation? In his session at @ThingsExpo, James Kirkland, Red Hat's Chief Arch...
Digital Transformation is the ultimate goal of cloud computing and related initiatives. The phrase is certainly not a precise one, and as subject to hand-waving and distortion as any high-falutin' terminology in the world of information technology. Yet it is an excellent choice of words to describe what enterprise IT—and by extension, organizations in general—should be working to achieve. Digital Transformation means: handling all the data types being found and created in the organizat...
Public Cloud IaaS started its life in the developer and startup communities and has grown rapidly to a $20B+ industry, but it still pales in comparison to how much is spent worldwide on IT: $3.6 trillion. In fact, there are 8.6 million data centers worldwide, the reality is many small and medium sized business have server closets and colocation footprints filled with servers and storage gear. While on-premise environment virtualization may have peaked at 75%, the Public Cloud has lagged in adop...
MuleSoft has announced the findings of its 2015 Connectivity Benchmark Report on the adoption and business impact of APIs. The findings suggest traditional businesses are quickly evolving into "composable enterprises" built out of hundreds of connected software services, applications and devices. Most are embracing the Internet of Things (IoT) and microservices technologies like Docker. A majority are integrating wearables, like smart watches, and more than half plan to generate revenue with ...
Rapid innovation, changing business landscapes, and new IT demands force businesses to make changes quickly. The DevOps approach is a way to increase business agility through collaboration, communication, and integration across different teams in the IT organization. In his session at DevOps Summit, Chris Van Tuin, Chief Technologist for the Western US at Red Hat, will discuss: The acceleration of application delivery for the business with DevOps