Welcome!

Microservices Expo Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Pat Romanski, Elizabeth White, Harry Trott, Kong Yang

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
Cloud Expo, Inc. has announced today that Andi Mann and Aruna Ravichandran have been named Co-Chairs of @DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo Silicon Valley which will take place Oct. 31-Nov. 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. "DevOps is at the intersection of technology and business-optimizing tools, organizations and processes to bring measurable improvements in productivity and profitability," said Aruna Ravichandran, vice president, DevOps product and solutions marketing...
"Tintri focuses on the Ops side of the DevOps, which basically is pushing more and more of the accessibility of the infrastructure to the developers and trying to get behind the scenes," explained Dhiraj Sehgal of Tintri in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
You know you need the cloud, but you’re hesitant to simply dump everything at Amazon since you know that not all workloads are suitable for cloud. You know that you want the kind of ease of use and scalability that you get with public cloud, but your applications are architected in a way that makes the public cloud a non-starter. You’re looking at private cloud solutions based on hyperconverged infrastructure, but you’re concerned with the limits inherent in those technologies.
The margins of cloud products like virtual machines are still in the 50% range. In essence, price drops are going to be a regular feature for the foreseeable future. This begets the question - are hosted solutions becoming irrelevant today? Boston-based market research firm, 451 Research, has been publishing their ‘Cloud Price Index' for a few years now. The quarterly study looks into the pricing of various offerings in the cloud market to understand the shifting dynamics in the public, private ...
Both SaaS vendors and SaaS buyers are going “all-in” to hyperscale IaaS platforms such as AWS, which is disrupting the SaaS value proposition. Why should the enterprise SaaS consumer pay for the SaaS service if their data is resident in adjacent AWS S3 buckets? If both SaaS sellers and buyers are using the same cloud tools, automation and pay-per-transaction model offered by IaaS platforms, then why not host the “shrink-wrapped” software in the customers’ cloud? Further, serverless computing, cl...
Hybrid IT is today’s reality, and while its implementation may seem daunting at times, more and more organizations are migrating to the cloud. In fact, according to SolarWinds 2017 IT Trends Index: Portrait of a Hybrid IT Organization 95 percent of organizations have migrated crucial applications to the cloud in the past year. As such, it’s in every IT professional’s best interest to know what to expect.
In the decade following his article, cloud computing further cemented Carr’s perspective. Compute, storage, and network resources have become simple utilities, available at the proverbial turn of the faucet. The value they provide is immense, but the cloud playing field is amazingly level. Carr’s quote above presaged the cloud to a T. Today, however, we’re in the digital era. Mark Andreesen’s ‘software is eating the world’ prognostication is coming to pass, as enterprises realize they must be...
In 2014, Amazon announced a new form of compute called Lambda. We didn't know it at the time, but this represented a fundamental shift in what we expect from cloud computing. Now, all of the major cloud computing vendors want to take part in this disruptive technology. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Doug Vanderweide, an instructor at Linux Academy, discussed why major players like AWS, Microsoft Azure, IBM Bluemix, and Google Cloud Platform are all trying to sidestep VMs and containers wit...
Companies have always been concerned that traditional enterprise software is slow and complex to install, often disrupting critical and time-sensitive operations during roll-out. With the growing need to integrate new digital technologies into the enterprise to transform business processes, this concern has become even more pressing. A 2016 Panorama Consulting Solutions study revealed that enterprise resource planning (ERP) projects took an average of 21 months to install, with 57 percent of th...
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...
New competitors, disruptive technologies, and growing expectations are pushing every business to both adopt and deliver new digital services. This ‘Digital Transformation’ demands rapid delivery and continuous iteration of new competitive services via multiple channels, which in turn demands new service delivery techniques – including DevOps. In this power panel at @DevOpsSummit 20th Cloud Expo, moderated by DevOps Conference Co-Chair Andi Mann, panelists examined how DevOps helps to meet the de...
"When we talk about cloud without compromise what we're talking about is that when people think about 'I need the flexibility of the cloud' - it's the ability to create applications and run them in a cloud environment that's far more flexible,” explained Matthew Finnie, CTO of Interoute, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
The taxi industry never saw Uber coming. Startups are a threat to incumbents like never before, and a major enabler for startups is that they are instantly “cloud ready.” If innovation moves at the pace of IT, then your company is in trouble. Why? Because your data center will not keep up with frenetic pace AWS, Microsoft and Google are rolling out new capabilities. In his session at 20th Cloud Expo, Don Browning, VP of Cloud Architecture at Turner, posited that disruption is inevitable for comp...
"We are a monitoring company. We work with Salesforce, BBC, and quite a few other big logos. We basically provide monitoring for them, structure for their cloud services and we fit into the DevOps world" explained David Gildeh, Co-founder and CEO of Outlyer, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
"We do one of the best file systems in the world. We learned how to deal with Big Data many years ago and we implemented this knowledge into our software," explained Jakub Ratajczak, Business Development Manager at MooseFS, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Five years ago development was seen as a dead-end career, now it’s anything but – with an explosion in mobile and IoT initiatives increasing the demand for skilled engineers. But apart from having a ready supply of great coders, what constitutes true ‘DevOps Royalty’? It’ll be the ability to craft resilient architectures, supportability, security everywhere across the software lifecycle. In his keynote at @DevOpsSummit at 20th Cloud Expo, Jeffrey Scheaffer, GM and SVP, Continuous Delivery Busine...
Colocation is a central pillar of modern enterprise infrastructure planning because it provides greater control, insight, and performance than managed platforms. In spite of the inexorable rise of the cloud, most businesses with extensive IT hardware requirements choose to host their infrastructure in colocation data centers. According to a recent IDC survey, more than half of the businesses questioned use colocation services, and the number is even higher among established businesses and busine...
@DevOpsSummit at Cloud Expo taking place Oct 31 - Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center, Santa Clara, CA, is co-located with the 21st International 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 ...
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...
For organizations that have amassed large sums of software complexity, taking a microservices approach is the first step toward DevOps and continuous improvement / development. Integrating system-level analysis with microservices makes it easier to change and add functionality to applications at any time without the increase of risk. Before you start big transformation projects or a cloud migration, make sure these changes won’t take down your entire organization.