Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Aruna Ravichandran, Liz McMillan, Pat Romanski, Cameron Van Orman

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Industrial IoT

Microservices Expo: Article

SOA: Focus Is On Approaches Not Technology

So what's hot these days in the world of SOA? Governance, registries, orchestration...? Nope

So what's hot these days in the world of SOA? Governance, registries, orchestration...? Nope. As folks looking to implement SOA seek that first killer project the emphasis is on what to do, not what you use, and that's exactly the right way to think. As SOA becomes more of a reality among the Global 2000, the focus on discipline as a concept will be as important as solutions, perhaps more important than many expect. Let me explain.

This is a clear trend that I see in the SOA space, those charged with building SOAs in their enterprise are working on establishing approaches to the implementation of their SOA instance, and aren't yet looking for "key enabling SOA technology," at least not yet. This means that they are setting up methodologies, defining deliverables, and how all of these artifacts are related. What's more they're focusing on education, understanding just what they're doing before they do it. We've learned from the past that quick movements towards a technology trend, without the proper amount of upfront thinking typically means failure.

If you ask me this is a good trend. While SOA is attractive as the hot new technology, or perhaps the reinvention of existing technology, most enterprise architects view SOA as a key strategic initiative, and aren't willing to risk failure. This is evident in the SOA's slow uptake, now accelerating, as larger organization do some advanced planning as well as get a bit smarter in dealing with the notion of SOA, keeping in mind that it's really a journey not a destination.

Finding an approach isn't that easy, however. There certainly is a great deal written on the topic by some very smart people, but the right approach for your particular organization may be a bit different from the generalized approaches/methodologies you see around today. In other words, you'll be doing some planning to create the plan. For instance, when I wrote the 12 Steps to SOA a few years ago, I was creating a general-purpose checklist of both tasks and deliverables to assist organizations in implementing their SOA. However, now I'm finding that some organizations have expanded it to 14 steps, and other reduced it to 11, again customizing the approach to their specific requirements, and that's okay by me.

What this trend will result in, just you wait and see, is a focus on design and planning tools more than implementation technology. Truth be told, there aren't many design and planning tools out there for SOA, and the ones on the market aren't impressive at all. Hopefully, we'll see some creative and well-funded start-ups in this space soon. Categories of planning tools should include:

  1. Modeling and implementation. Holistic modeling of the SOA and all of its working parts.
  2. Security design and implementation. The ability to figure out how you're going to secure and govern your SOA.
  3. Semantic understanding and metadata modeling. The ability to identify all application semantics and define a common metadata model.
  4. Service design and implementation. The ability design services properly, implement them, and track them.
  5. Orchestration and process modeling. The ability to model processes and implement them directly from the model.
There are tools on the market that do some of these things; you just have to find the ones that work for you. First I would suggest, however, that you pick your approach then pick your tools. Moreover, always consider both your tool selection and approach as fluid notions. Don't be afraid to change them as your needs change.

So, if you're focusing on what you need to do, you're in good shape. Those that jump directly to "what to use" are fooling themselves into thinking that a lack of understanding of the problem domain will be overshadowed by killer technology. That never works.

More Stories By David Linthicum

Dave Linthicum is Sr. VP at Cloud Technology Partners, and an internationally known cloud computing and SOA expert. He is a sought-after consultant, speaker, and blogger. In his career, Dave has formed or enhanced many of the ideas behind modern distributed computing including EAI, B2B Application Integration, and SOA, approaches and technologies in wide use today. In addition, he is the Editor-in-Chief of SYS-CON's Virtualization Journal.

For the last 10 years, he has focused on the technology and strategies around cloud computing, including working with several cloud computing startups. His industry experience includes tenure as CTO and CEO of several successful software and cloud computing companies, and upper-level management positions in Fortune 500 companies. In addition, he was an associate professor of computer science for eight years, and continues to lecture at major technical colleges and universities, including University of Virginia and Arizona State University. He keynotes at many leading technology conferences, and has several well-read columns and blogs. Linthicum has authored 10 books, including the ground-breaking "Enterprise Application Integration" and "B2B Application Integration." You can reach him at [email protected] Or follow him on Twitter. Or view his profile on LinkedIn.

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
Jeff Pendleton 05/30/06 05:04:19 PM EDT

I attended the Global Integration Summit last week and heard lots of grumbling about the emerging competition/confusion between SOA, Web 2.0 and EDA (among others). I've also heard that some of the vendors are starting to talk about SOA 2.0 as the real deal. I suspect that SOA is at risk as analysts and vendors try to leap frog one another...

SOA Web Services Journal 05/27/06 11:24:30 AM EDT

So what's hot these days in the world of SOA? Governance, registries, orchestration...? Nope. As folks looking to implement SOA seek that first killer project the emphasis is on what to do, not what you use, and that's exactly the right way to think. As SOA becomes more of a reality among the Global 2000, the focus on discipline as a concept will be as important as solutions, perhaps more important than many expect. Let me explain.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Michael Burley, a Senior Business Development Executive in IT Services at NetApp, will describe how NetApp designed a three-year program of work to migrate 25PB of a major telco's enterprise data to a new STaaS platform, and then secured a long-term contract to manage and operate the platform. This significant program blended the best of NetApp’s solutions and services capabilities to enable this telco’s successful adoption of private cloud storage and launchi...
We all know that end users experience the Internet primarily with mobile devices. From an app development perspective, we know that successfully responding to the needs of mobile customers depends on rapid DevOps – failing fast, in short, until the right solution evolves in your customers' relationship to your business. Whether you’re decomposing an SOA monolith, or developing a new application cloud natively, it’s not a question of using microservices – not doing so will be a path to eventual b...
Transforming cloud-based data into a reportable format can be a very expensive, time-intensive and complex operation. As a SaaS platform with more than 30 million global users, Cornerstone OnDemand’s challenge was to create a scalable solution that would improve the time it took customers to access their user data. Our Real-Time Data Warehouse (RTDW) process vastly reduced data time-to-availability from 24 hours to just 10 minutes. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Mark Goldin, Chief Technolo...
Digital transformation leaders have poured tons of money and effort into coding in recent years. And with good reason. To succeed at digital, you must be able to write great code. You also have to build a strong Agile culture so your coding efforts tightly align with market signals and business outcomes. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll lose. But if your investments in testing haven’t kept pace with your investments in coding, you’ll...
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...
Containers are rapidly finding their way into enterprise data centers, but change is difficult. How do enterprises transform their architecture with technologies like containers without losing the reliable components of their current solutions? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Tony Campbell, Director, Educational Services at CoreOS, will explore the challenges organizations are facing today as they move to containers and go over how Kubernetes applications can deploy with lega...
Today most companies are adopting or evaluating container technology - Docker in particular - to speed up application deployment, drive down cost, ease management and make application delivery more flexible overall. As with most new architectures, this dream takes significant work to become a reality. Even when you do get your application componentized enough and packaged properly, there are still challenges for DevOps teams to making the shift to continuous delivery and achieving that reducti...
Is advanced scheduling in Kubernetes achievable? Yes, however, how do you properly accommodate every real-life scenario that a Kubernetes user might encounter? How do you leverage advanced scheduling techniques to shape and describe each scenario in easy-to-use rules and configurations? In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Oleg Chunikhin, CTO at Kublr, will answer these questions and demonstrate techniques for implementing advanced scheduling. For example, using spot instances ...
DevOps at Cloud Expo, taking place October 31 - November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with 21st Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. The widespread success of cloud computing is driving the DevOps revolution in enterprise IT. Now as never before, development teams must communicate and collaborate in a dynamic, 24/7/365 environment. There is no time to w...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on Oct. 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Cloud Academy is the leading technology training platform for enterprise multi-cloud infrastructure. Cloud Academy is trusted by leading companies to deliver continuous learning solutions across Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most...
The last two years has seen discussions about cloud computing evolve from the public / private / hybrid split to the reality that most enterprises will be creating a complex, multi-cloud strategy. Companies are wary of committing all of their resources to a single cloud, and instead are choosing to spread the risk – and the benefits – of cloud computing across multiple providers and internal infrastructures, as they follow their business needs. Will this approach be successful? How large is the ...
DevOps is often described as a combination of technology and culture. Without both, DevOps isn't complete. However, applying the culture to outdated technology is a recipe for disaster; as response times grow and connections between teams are delayed by technology, the culture will die. A Nutanix Enterprise Cloud has many benefits that provide the needed base for a true DevOps paradigm. In their Day 3 Keynote at 20th Cloud Expo, Chris Brown, a Solutions Marketing Manager at Nutanix, and Mark Lav...
Many organizations adopt DevOps to reduce cycle times and deliver software faster; some take on DevOps to drive higher quality and better end-user experience; others look to DevOps for a clearer line-of-sight to customers to drive better business impacts. In truth, these three foundations go together. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 21st Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, industry experts will discuss how leading organizations build application success from all...
DevSecOps – a trend around transformation in process, people and technology – is about breaking down silos and waste along the software development lifecycle and using agile methodologies, automation and insights to help get apps to market faster. This leads to higher quality apps, greater trust in organizations, less organizational friction, and ultimately a five-star customer experience. These apps are the new competitive currency in this digital economy and they’re powered by data. Without ...
A common misconception about the cloud is that one size fits all. Companies expecting to run all of their operations using one cloud solution or service must realize that doing so is akin to forcing the totality of their business functionality into a straightjacket. Unlocking the full potential of the cloud means embracing the multi-cloud future where businesses use their own cloud, and/or clouds from different vendors, to support separate functions or product groups. There is no single cloud so...
For most organizations, the move to hybrid cloud is now a question of when, not if. Fully 82% of enterprises plan to have a hybrid cloud strategy this year, according to Infoholic Research. The worldwide hybrid cloud computing market is expected to grow about 34% annually over the next five years, reaching $241.13 billion by 2022. Companies are embracing hybrid cloud because of the many advantages it offers compared to relying on a single provider for all of their cloud needs. Hybrid offers bala...
With the modern notion of digital transformation, enterprises are chipping away at the fundamental organizational and operational structures that have been with us since the nineteenth century or earlier. One remarkable casualty: the business process. Business processes have become so ingrained in how we envision large organizations operating and the roles people play within them that relegating them to the scrap heap is almost unimaginable, and unquestionably transformative. In the Digital ...
These days, APIs have become an integral part of the digital transformation journey for all enterprises. Every digital innovation story is connected to APIs . But have you ever pondered over to know what are the source of these APIs? Let me explain - APIs sources can be varied, internal or external, solving different purposes, but mostly categorized into the following two categories. Data lakes is a term used to represent disconnected but relevant data that are used by various business units wit...
The nature of the technology business is forward-thinking. It focuses on the future and what’s coming next. Innovations and creativity in our world of software development strive to improve the status quo and increase customer satisfaction through speed and increased connectivity. Yet, while it's exciting to see enterprises embrace new ways of thinking and advance their processes with cutting edge technology, it rarely happens rapidly or even simultaneously across all industries.
It has never been a better time to be a developer! Thanks to cloud computing, deploying our applications is much easier than it used to be. How we deploy our apps continues to evolve thanks to cloud hosting, Platform-as-a-Service (PaaS), and now Function-as-a-Service. FaaS is the concept of serverless computing via serverless architectures. Software developers can leverage this to deploy an individual "function", action, or piece of business logic. They are expected to start within milliseconds...