Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Pat Romanski, Liz McMillan, Derek Weeks, Alois Mayr

Related Topics: Microservices Expo, Industrial IoT

Microservices Expo: Article

SOA Editorial - A Little Help from My Friends

SOA is not just technology, it's philosophy, organizational change, and business transformation

It's sometimes funny to write about service-oriented architecture. One of the things I say often and believe is that you can't buy a service-oriented architecture. SOA is not just technology, it's philosophy, organizational change, and business transformation. There's no place to buy that kind of dramatic, deeply impacting change.

The funny part, at least to me, is that you can, however, buy or acquire a good deal of infrastructure to set this up from a single source. In the industry, we call that a platform. And that's what this month's issue is about - SOA platforms.

Service-oriented architecture is a powerful concept - at its base, it replaces the concept of an application with the concept of a service. This isn't trivial. For 40 or more years, we've dealt with computers in the context of applications (I've left a few years off my count to account for the years before operating systems when we were really talking about programs, or code). We have the context of an application firmly established - people go to their computers, interact with applications, and do work.

SOA is about the next phase of computing - enabling computers to do some of the work unaided (computer-to-computer interaction), and freeing the user from having to interact with application after application to get work done. Anyone who's ever dealt with a call center and had to wait on the phone while the call center representative said, "Now give me just a minute, I have to bring up another application to do that," knows how frustrating, time-consuming, and challenging the traditional application-centric approach can be. Services (and the composite applications that no longer require the user to switch between applications to do a single business process) are the way we plan to break the tyranny of the application and take back control of the computer.

Services don't exist in a vacuum. Part of the chicken and egg problem we have in moving from applications to services is that services make only a limited amount of sense in the context of a single application, so there's not a strong impetus for application developers to use a service-based approach toward design when creating applications. Similarly, when you take a holistic view of the enterprise, you don't necessarily see the catalog of services you'd like to have to really establish a true architecture, and derive the highest value from composing processes from services.

That's where a platform becomes the middle ground and the way out of the chicken and egg problem. By establishing a platform for the enterprise, you can start to drive applications toward becoming services. A platform should provide discovery, registration, an ESB at the minimum, with most platforms also including security and management services as well. When you start to build your applications (or buy them specifically for the platform in many cases) to take advantage of the service orientation of the platform, you start to realize the advantage of the platform, and move past the challenge of service-enabling applications.

It also underscores the importance of getting a strong platform, one where the parts all work together well. You may not want to get everything from a single source or, depending upon your enterprise needs, you may not be able to do so. A soup-to-nuts infrastructure out of the box from a single vendor is not necessarily nirvana anyway, as those of you who've had the best-of-breed discussions over the years can attest. What is important is establishing an SOA infrastructure, or platform, on which an enterprise can leverage its application portfolio. The platform enables the portfolio transformation that must occur in order to move from an application orientation to a service orientation.

So it's funny, even though I don't think you can buy an SOA, I definitely think you can acquire a platform, and you're much better off with one then without.

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
SOA Web Services Journal News 07/24/06 04:18:03 PM EDT

It's sometimes funny to write about service-oriented architecture. One of the things I say often and believe is that you can't buy a service-oriented architecture. SOA is not just technology, it's philosophy, organizational change, and business transformation. There's no place to buy that kind of dramatic, deeply impacting change.

SOA Web Services Journal News 07/24/06 04:17:52 PM EDT

It's sometimes funny to write about service-oriented architecture. One of the things I say often and believe is that you can't buy a service-oriented architecture. SOA is not just technology, it's philosophy, organizational change, and business transformation. There's no place to buy that kind of dramatic, deeply impacting change.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
SYS-CON Events announced today TechTarget has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. TechTarget is the Web’s leading destination for serious technology buyers researching and making enterprise technology decisions. Its extensive global networ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Commvault, a global leader in enterprise data protection and information management, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7–9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Commvault is a leading provider of data protection and information management...
Many banks and financial institutions are experimenting with containers in development environments, but when will they move into production? Containers are seen as the key to achieving the ultimate in information technology flexibility and agility. Containers work on both public and private clouds, and make it easy to build and deploy applications. The challenge for regulated industries is the cost and complexity of container security compliance. VM security compliance is already challenging, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Alert Logic, Inc., the leading provider of Security-as-a-Service solutions for the cloud, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Alert Logic, Inc., provides Security-as-a-Service for on-premises, cloud, and hybrid infrastructures, delivering deep security insight and continuous protection for customers at a lower cost than traditional security solutions. Ful...
A strange thing is happening along the way to the Internet of Things, namely far too many devices to work with and manage. It has become clear that we'll need much higher efficiency user experiences that can allow us to more easily and scalably work with the thousands of devices that will soon be in each of our lives. Enter the conversational interface revolution, combining bots we can literally talk with, gesture to, and even direct with our thoughts, with embedded artificial intelligence, wh...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Tintri Inc., a leading producer of VM-aware storage (VAS) for virtualization and cloud environments, will exhibit at the 18th International CloudExpo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, New York, and the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
You might already know them from theagileadmin.com, but let me introduce you to two of the leading minds in the Rugged DevOps movement: James Wickett and Ernest Mueller. Both James and Ernest are active leaders in the DevOps space, in addition to helping organize events such as DevOpsDays Austinand LASCON. Our conversation covered a lot of bases from the founding of Rugged DevOps to aligning organizational silos to lessons learned from W. Edwards Demings.
Application development and delivery methods have undergone radical changes in recent years to improve scalability and resiliency. Container images are the new build and deployment artifacts that are used to ship and run software. While startups have long been comfortable experimenting with and embracing new technologies, even large enterprises are now re-architecting their software systems so that they can benefit from container-enabled micro services architectures. With the launch of DC/OS, w...
Agile teams report the lowest rate of measuring non-functional requirements. What does this mean for the evolution of quality in this era of Continuous Everything? To explore how the rise of SDLC acceleration trends such as Agile, DevOps, and Continuous Delivery are impacting software quality, Parasoft conducted a survey about measuring and monitoring non-functional requirements (NFRs). Here's a glimpse at what we discovered and what it means for the evolution of quality in this era of Continuo...
In the rush to compete in the digital age, a successful digital transformation is essential, but many organizations are setting themselves up for failure. There’s a common misconception that the process is just about technology, but it’s not. It’s about your business. It shouldn’t be treated as an isolated IT project; it should be driven by business needs with the committed involvement of a range of stakeholders.
Just last week a senior Hybris consultant shared the story of a customer engagement on which he was working. This customer had problems, serious problems. We’re talking about response times far beyond the most liberal acceptable standard. They were unable to solve the issue in their eCommerce platform – specifically Hybris. Although the eCommerce project was delivered by a system integrator / implementation partner, the vendor still gets involved when things go really wrong. After all, the vendo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that EastBanc Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 18th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. EastBanc Technologies has been working at the frontier of technology since 1999. Today, the firm provides full-lifecycle software development delivering flexible technology solutions that seamlessly integrate with existing systems – whether on premise or cloud. EastBanc Technologies partners with p...
While there has been much ado about interoperability, there are still no real solutions, same as last year and the year before that. The large EHR vendors who continue to dominate the market still maintain that interoperability is all but solved, still can't connect EHRs across the continuum causing frustration by providers and a disservice to patients. The ONC pays lip service to the problem, but that is about it. It is time for the healthcare industry to consider alternatives like middleware w...
Our CTO, Anders Wallgren, recently sat down to take part in the “B2B Nation: IT” podcast — the series dedicated to serving the IT professional community with expert opinions and advice on the world of information technology. Listen to the great conversation, where Anders shares his thoughts on DevOps lessons from large enterprises, the growth of microservices and containers, and more.
SYS-CON Events announced today that AppNeta, the leader in performance insight for business-critical web applications, will exhibit and present at SYS-CON's @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo New York, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AppNeta is the only application performance monitoring (APM) company to provide solutions for all applications – applications you develop internally, business-critical SaaS applications you use and the networks that deli...
SYS-CON Events announced today the Docker Meets Kubernetes – Intro into the Kubernetes World, being held June 9, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Register for 'Docker Meets Kubernetes Workshop' Here! This workshop led by Sebastian Scheele, co-founder of Loodse, introduces participants to Kubernetes (container orchestration). Through a combination of instructor-led presentations, demonstrations, and hands-on labs, participants learn ...
SYS-CON Events announced today the How to Create Angular 2 Clients for the Cloud Workshop, being held June 7, 2016, in conjunction with 18th Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Angular 2 is a complete re-write of the popular framework AngularJS. Programming in Angular 2 is greatly simplified. Now it’s a component-based well-performing framework. The immersive one-day workshop led by Yakov Fain, a Java Champion and a co-founder of the IT consultancy Farata Systems and...
Join us at Cloud Expo | @ThingsExpo 2016 – June 7-9 at the Javits Center in New York City and November 1-3 at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA – and deliver your unique message in a way that is striking and unforgettable by taking advantage of SYS-CON's unmatched high-impact, result-driven event / media packages.
The initial debate is over: Any enterprise with a serious commitment to IT is migrating to the cloud. But things are not so simple. There is a complex mix of on-premises, colocated, and public-cloud deployments. In this power panel at 18th Cloud Expo, moderated by Conference Chair Roger Strukhoff, panelists will look at the present state of cloud from the C-level view, and how great companies and rock star executives can use cloud computing to meet their most ambitious and disruptive business ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that BMC Software has been named "Siver Sponsor" of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2015 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. BMC is a global leader in innovative software solutions that help businesses transform into digital enterprises for the ultimate competitive advantage. BMC Digital Enterprise Management is a set of innovative IT solutions designed to make digital business fast, seamless, and optimized from mainframe to mo...