Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Lori MacVittie, David Sprott, Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Daniel Khan

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: 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...
Ovum, a leading technology analyst firm, has published an in-depth report, Ovum Decision Matrix: Selecting a DevOps Release Management Solution, 2016–17. The report focuses on the automation aspects of DevOps, Release Management and compares solutions from the leading vendors.
Adding public cloud resources to an existing application can be a daunting process. The tools that you currently use to manage the software and hardware outside the cloud aren’t always the best tools to efficiently grow into the cloud. All of the major configuration management tools have cloud orchestration plugins that can be leveraged, but there are also cloud-native tools that can dramatically improve the efficiency of managing your application lifecycle. In his session at 18th Cloud Expo, ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that LeaseWeb USA, a cloud Infrastructure-as-a-Service (IaaS) provider, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. LeaseWeb is one of the world's largest hosting brands. The company helps customers define, develop and deploy IT infrastructure tailored to their exact business needs, by combining various kinds cloud solutions.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Venafi, the Immune System for the Internet™ and the leading provider of Next Generation Trust Protection, will exhibit at @DevOpsSummit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Venafi is the Immune System for the Internet™ that protects the foundation of all cybersecurity – cryptographic keys and digital certificates – so they can’t be misused by bad guys in attacks...
No matter how well-built your applications are, countless issues can cause performance problems, putting the platforms they are running on under scrutiny. If you've moved to Node.js to power your applications, you may be at risk of these issues calling your choice into question. How do you identify vulnerabilities and mitigate risk to take the focus off troubleshooting the technology and back where it belongs, on innovation? There is no doubt that Node.js is one of today's leading platforms of ...

Let's just nip the conflation of these terms in the bud, shall we?

"MIcro" is big these days. Both microservices and microsegmentation are having and will continue to have an impact on data center architecture, but not necessarily for the same reasons. There's a growing trend in which folks - particularly those with a network background - conflate the two and use them to mean the same thing.

They are not.

One is about the application. The other, the network. T...

DevOps at Cloud Expo – being held November 1-3, 2016, 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 world's largest enterprises – and delivering real results. Am...
The 19th International Cloud Expo has announced that its Call for Papers is open. Cloud Expo, to be held November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, brings together Cloud Computing, Big Data, Internet of Things, DevOps, Digital Transformation, Microservices 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 business opportuni...
This is a no-hype, pragmatic post about why I think you should consider architecting your next project the way SOA and/or microservices suggest. No matter if it’s a greenfield approach or if you’re in dire need of refactoring. Please note: considering still keeps open the option of not taking that approach. After reading this, you will have a better idea about whether building multiple small components instead of a single, large component makes sense for your project. This post assumes that you...
Before becoming a developer, I was in the high school band. I played several brass instruments - including French horn and cornet - as well as keyboards in the jazz stage band. A musician and a nerd, what can I say? I even dabbled in writing music for the band. Okay, mostly I wrote arrangements of pop music, so the band could keep the crowd entertained during Friday night football games. What struck me then was that, to write parts for all the instruments - brass, woodwind, percussion, even k...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Yoseph Reuveni, Director of Software Engineering at Jet.com, will discuss Jet.com's journey into containerizing Microsoft-based technologies like C# and F# into Docker. He will talk about lessons learned and challenges faced, the Mono framework tryout and how they deployed everything into Azure cloud. Yoseph Reuveni is a technology leader with unique experience developing and running high throughput (over 1M tps) distributed systems with extre...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Isomorphic Software will exhibit at DevOps Summit at 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Isomorphic Software provides the SmartClient HTML5/AJAX platform, the most advanced technology for building rich, cutting-edge enterprise web applications for desktop and mobile. SmartClient combines the productivity and performance of traditional desktop software with the simp...
Internet of @ThingsExpo, taking place November 1-3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 19th International Cloud Expo and will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world and ThingsExpo Silicon Valley Call for Papers is now open.
Sharding has become a popular means of achieving scalability in application architectures in which read/write data separation is not only possible, but desirable to achieve new heights of concurrency. The premise is that by splitting up read and write duties, it is possible to get better overall performance at the cost of a slight delay in consistency. That is, it takes a bit of time to replicate changes initiated by a "write" to the read-only master database. It's eventually consistent, and it'...
Node.js and io.js are increasingly being used to run JavaScript on the server side for many types of applications, such as websites, real-time messaging and controllers for small devices with limited resources. For DevOps it is crucial to monitor the whole application stack and Node.js is rapidly becoming an important part of the stack in many organizations. Sematext has historically had a strong support for monitoring big data applications such as Elastic (aka Elasticsearch), Cassandra, Solr, S...
If you are within a stones throw of the DevOps marketplace you have undoubtably noticed the growing trend in Microservices. Whether you have been staying up to date with the latest articles and blogs or you just read the definition for the first time, these 5 Microservices Resources You Need In Your Life will guide you through the ins and outs of Microservices in today’s world.
This digest provides an overview of good resources that are well worth reading. We’ll be updating this page as new content becomes available, so I suggest you bookmark it. Also, expect more digests to come on different topics that make all of our IT-hearts go boom!
Keeping pace with advancements in software delivery processes and tooling is taxing even for the most proficient organizations. Point tools, platforms, open source and the increasing adoption of private and public cloud services requires strong engineering rigor – all in the face of developer demands to use the tools of choice. As Agile has settled in as a mainstream practice, now DevOps has emerged as the next wave to improve software delivery speed and output. To make DevOps work, organization...
There's a lot of things we do to improve the performance of web and mobile applications. We use caching. We use compression. We offload security (SSL and TLS) to a proxy with greater compute capacity. We apply image optimization and minification to content. We do all that because performance is king. Failure to perform can be, for many businesses, equivalent to an outage with increased abandonment rates and angry customers taking to the Internet to express their extreme displeasure.