Click here to close now.

Welcome!

MICROSERVICES Authors: David Sprott, Michael Kanasoot, Carmen Gonzalez, Lori MacVittie, Elizabeth White

Related Topics: MICROSERVICES

MICROSERVICES: Article

SOA Web Services Journal Editorial — The SOA Dichotomy

As editor, I review a great many proposals for articles. A good portion of them deal with SOA

As editor, I review a great many proposals for articles. A good portion of them deal with SOA, which is to be expected. When I review them, I'm reminded that there are two very different views of SOA, which in my opinion are both equally true. I call this the SOA Dichotomy, because these views seemingly contradict one another.

One of the views is that SOA makes things easier for the enterprise. Certainly this view has a great deal of merit and validity. Fully realized a service-oriented architecture allows an organization to fully leverage their investment in the real intellectual property of software - the service that it provides - without closely coupling that service to a single application. It's hard to overstate the impact this can make; it's truly a transformation of the way IT provides information services to the enterprise. Applications can now be assembled, and business processes composed from services and altered rapidly in response to changing business conditions. The workplace can be transformed - workers no longer need to be dependent upon a series of applications to do their work. Instead they can have a single composite application that meets all of their needs without ever having to leave to transfer to another application. Anyone who's ever been on hold with a call-center representative while they said, "Can you hold for a second, that's in a different application," knows how valuable this can be. Call centers know it as well - they know to the penny just how much a single second's delay costs them. Even before an enterprise completes its transformation to a fully deployed SOA environment, the benefits of interoperability and increased agility grow dramatically with every application that is decomposed into services in an effect similar to the very familiar Network Effect. The more services deployed, the more valuable they become. Usually, this is attributed to the fact that SOA makes things simpler, easier to do.

But the other view is the familiar devil-in-the-details argument. While not exactly contrarian, there is also a group who insist that SOA introduces increased complexity and requires greater attention to details. It's hard to argue with this when you try to create composite services and need to introduce concepts like security and transactionality to organizations that never consciously had to consider them, because they were always embedded in the application and were dictated by whatever the application vendor or in-house developers decided was the best approach. SOA requires an increased awareness on the part of the IT organization, and greater responsibility from the business side with respect to understanding the full impact of their decisions. Not that that's a bad thing, because this increased self-awareness helps a business to understand itself and adapt to changing conditions. SOA has value, but it's not as easy as it sounds at first.

How do we resolve these different views on SOA, or do we even need to? This is where the dichotomy comes into play - both views are correct. What's more, not only are they both correct, but they are both necessary. The key understanding is that SOA is a business paradigm shift, not a technology one. The true goal of an SOA is to make it easier to affect business changes and make business decisions. From that perspective the ability to work as a service distinct from an application provides strategic value. The ability to create composite services and manage them from a business perspective is a competitive advantage in today's marketplace. In tomorrow's, it will be a requirement.

That doesn't mean that a business shift makes things easier on IT. Nor does SOA. IT knows full well that while a single vendor system often has its issues, dealing with a federated heterogeneous computing environment often is more least-common denominator than best of breed. With multiple standards bodies and numerous standards and versions, the SOA landscape is cluttered and complex, and requires skilled practitioners to successfully navigate the muddy waters of a service environment. They also know it's a better place to be than the one they are leaving, which had the same problems, but no solutions, even if the solution in this case increases the complexity of their jobs.

And that's the dichotomy of SOA. It is both easier and harder, more complex and simpler. It's all a matter of perspective.

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 (3) 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
j j 09/21/06 06:01:17 PM EDT

As editor, I review a great many proposals for articles. A good portion of them deal with SOA, which is to be expected. When I review them, I'm reminded that there are two very different views of SOA, which in my opinion are both equally true. I call this the SOA Dichotomy, because these views seemingly contradict one another.

j j 09/21/06 05:01:34 PM EDT

As editor, I review a great many proposals for articles. A good portion of them deal with SOA, which is to be expected. When I review them, I'm reminded that there are two very different views of SOA, which in my opinion are both equally true. I call this the SOA Dichotomy, because these views seemingly contradict one another.

j j 09/21/06 03:03:49 PM EDT

As editor, I review a great many proposals for articles. A good portion of them deal with SOA, which is to be expected. When I review them, I'm reminded that there are two very different views of SOA, which in my opinion are both equally true. I call this the SOA Dichotomy, because these views seemingly contradict one another.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
Right off the bat, Newman advises that we should "think of microservices as a specific approach for SOA in the same way that XP or Scrum are specific approaches for Agile Software development". These analogies are very interesting because my expectation was that microservices is a pattern. So I might infer that microservices is a set of process techniques as opposed to an architectural approach. Yet in the book, Newman clearly includes some elements of concept model and architecture as well as p...
Cloud computing is changing the way we look at IT costs, according to industry experts on a recent Cloud Luminary Fireside Chat panel discussion. Enterprise IT, traditionally viewed as a cost center, now plays a central role in the delivery of software-driven goods and services. Therefore, companies need to understand their cloud utilization and resulting costs in order to ensure profitability on their business offerings. Led by Bernard Golden, this fireside chat offers valuable insights on ho...
Microservices, for the uninitiated, are essentially the decomposition of applications into multiple services. This decomposition is often based on functional lines, with related functions being grouped together into a service. While this may sound a like SOA, it really isn't, especially given that SOA was an object-centered methodology that focused on creating services around "nouns" like customer and product. Microservices, while certainly capable of being noun-based, are just as likely to be v...
SYS-CON Events announced today the DevOps Foundation Certification Course, being held June ?, 2015, in conjunction with DevOps Summit and 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. This sixteen (16) hour course provides an introduction to DevOps – the cultural and professional movement that stresses communication, collaboration, integration and automation in order to improve the flow of work between software developers and IT operations professionals. Improved workflows will res...
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.
You hear the terms “subscription economy” and “subscription commerce” all the time. And with good reason. Subscription-based monetization is transforming business as we know it. But what about usage? Where’s the “consumption economy”? Turns out, it’s all around us. When most people think of usage-based billing, the example that probably comes to mind first is metered public utilities — water, gas and electric. Phone services, especially mobile, might come next. Then maybe taxis. And that’s ab...
Learn the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation plus a DevOps team approach can address these top API testing challenges. Ensuring API integrity is difficult in today's complex application cloud, on-premises and hybrid environment scenarios. In this interview with TechTarget, Parasoft solution architect manager Spencer Debrosse shares his experiences about the top API testing issues that organizations encounter and how automation and a DevOps team approach can a...
Containers and microservices have become topics of intense interest throughout the cloud developer and enterprise IT communities. Accordingly, attendees at the upcoming 16th Cloud Expo at the Javits Center in New York June 9-11 will find fresh new content in a new track called PaaS | Containers & Microservices Containers are not being considered for the first time by the cloud community, but a current era of re-consideration has pushed them to the top of the cloud agenda. With the launch ...
An explosive combination of technology trends will be where ‘microservices’ and the IoT Internet of Things intersect, a concept we can describe by comparing it with a previous theme, the ‘X Internet.' The idea of using small self-contained application components has been popular since XML Web services began and a distributed computing future of smart fridges and kettles was imagined long back in the early Internet years.
After what feel like an interminable cycle of media frenzy followed by hype and hysteria cycles, the practical elements of real world cloud implementations are starting to become better documented. But what is really different in the cloud? How do software applications behave, live, interact and interconnect inside the cloud? Where do cloud architectures differ so markedly from their predecessors that we need to learn a new set of mechanics – and, when do we start to refer to software progra...
SOA Software has changed its name to Akana. With roots in Web Services and SOA Governance, Akana has established itself as a leader in API Management and is expanding into cloud integration as an alternative to the traditional heavyweight enterprise service bus (ESB). The company recently announced that it achieved more than 90% year-over-year growth. As Akana, the company now addresses the evolution and diversification of SOA, unifying security, management, and DevOps across SOA, APIs, microser...
It's 2:15pm on a Friday, and I'm sitting in the keynote hall at PyCon 2013 fidgeting through a succession of lightning talks that have very little relevance to my life. Topics like "Python code coverage techniques" (ho-hum) and "Controlling Christmas lights with Python” (yawn - I wonder if there's anything new on Hacker News)...when Solomon Hykes takes the stage, unveils Docker, and the world shifts. If you haven't seen it yet, you should watch the video of Solomon's Pycon The Future of Linux C...
This month I want to revisit supporting infrastructure and datacenter environments. I have touched (some would say rant) upon this topic since my post in April 2014 called "Take a Holistic View of Support". My thoughts and views on this topic have not changed at all: it's critical for any organization to have a holistic, comprehensive strategy and view of how they support their IT infrastructure and datacenter environments. In fact, I believe it's even more critical today then it was a year ago ...
The 16th Cloud Expo has added coverage containers and microservices to its program for New York, to be held June 9-11 at the Jacob Javits Convention Center. Cloud Expo has long been the single, independent show where delegates and technology vendors can meet to experience and discuss the entire world of the cloud. This year will be no different. Containers are an old concept that saw renewed life with the emergence of Docker in 2013. Then late in 2014, CoreOS shook up the cloud-computing w...
OmniTI has expanded its services to help customers automate their processes to deliver high quality applications to market faster. Consistent with its focus on IT agility and quality, OmniTI operates under DevOps principles, exploring the flow of value through the IT delivery process, identifying opportunities to eliminate waste, realign misaligned incentives, and open bottlenecks. OmniTI takes a unique, value-centric approach by plotting each opportunity in an effort-payoff quadrant, then work...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Solgenia 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, and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Solgenia is the global market leader in Cloud Collaboration and Cloud Infrastructure software solutions. Designed to “Bridge the Gap” between Personal and Professional S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that MangoApps 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., and the 17th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on November 3–5, 2015, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. MangoApps provides private all-in-one social intranets allowing workers to securely collaborate from anywhere in the world and from any device. Social, mobile, and eas...
When it comes to microservices there are myths and uncertainty about the journey ahead. Deploying a “Hello World” app on Docker is a long way from making microservices work in real enterprises with large applications, complex environments and existing organizational structures. February 19, 2015 10:00am PT / 1:00pm ET → 45 Minutes Join our four experts: Special host Gene Kim, Gary Gruver, Randy Shoup and XebiaLabs’ Andrew Phillips as they explore the realities of microservices in today’s IT worl...
The world's leading Cloud event, Cloud Expo has launched Microservices Journal on the SYS-CON.com portal, featuring over 19,000 original articles, news stories, features, and blog entries. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. Microservices Journal offers top articles, news stories, and blog posts from the world's well-known experts and guarantees better exposure for its authors than any other publication. Follow new article posts on T...
Hosted PaaS providers have given independent developers and startups huge advantages in efficiency and reduced time-to-market over their more process-bound counterparts in enterprises. Software frameworks are now available that allow enterprise IT departments to provide these same advantages for developers in their own organization. In his workshop session at DevOps Summit, Troy Topnik, ActiveState’s Technical Product Manager, will show how on-prem or cloud-hosted Private PaaS can enable organ...