|By Sean Rhody||
|March 17, 2007 01:30 PM EDT||
This month I thought I'd put on my sales hat for a moment and talk about what it takes to actually sell someone on the concept of using service-oriented architecture as the underlying paradigm for an organization's information technology implementation and direction. In part this is because there's still a good deal of resistance to SOA as that basis.
In the early days of trying to persuade corporations that SOA is a good thing, there was a great deal of commotion around the issue of security. The perception was that services were not really secure - and in fact, the very basic Web services standards of HTTP, SOAP, WSDL, UDDI and XML are not secure, other than perhaps with an SSL layer. But we've managed to put a stake in the heart of that specter, and worries about security now revolve more around proper implementation than around the actual availability of capabilities of an SOA to provide security.
Yet, while this had seemed at one point to be the sole stumbling block, why haven't we seen the floodgates open and a million SOA implementation take place? This is the key question.
SOA for many is like source code management. Unquestionably, source management is a good thing when we talk about software development, but the question that always comes to mind is - how do you quantify the goodness? Is there a return on the investment, which includes time, dollars, and software? Conventional wisdom says there is (and I personally believe it strongly), but at the same time, when was the last time someone actually presented actual cost savings for source code management.
I bring this up to point out the similarity of the situation with respect to service-oriented architecture. SOA provides key advantages that are fairly easy to see - loose coupling, application composition rather than development, the ability to manage services on a granular basis, and finer control of the actual work done by information technology. Integration, which becomes crucial the minute a business has more than one software system, is the key facet of SOA that makes every technologist realize that SOA is a better way to do software and implement processes.
The key difficulty with selling SOA as a concept for how to do technology is quantifying the actual benefit that results from using services. In business terms, determining the ROI of a change to SOA is what's important, but, perversely, it's also very hard to capture the value of SOA in absence of some business change to accompany it.
Look at it this way - it's easy to say, and also easy to understand and agree on the fact that SOA makes software integration much easier. But what is the dollar value of that ease, and how much of an effect will it have over time? That's the difficult question that is holding back funding of SOA in the current world. Sometimes you can quantify parts of it, such as saying you no longer need a particular EAI package, so your license, maintenance and operating costs could be viewed as the cost savings against which the cost of the implementation could be measured. Those cases are the simple ones, the ones where it's easy to make the case to go ahead with SOA. Unfortunately, in most shops, the case for a pure SOA conversion is much less clear. The ability to do something "better" needs to be correlated to a reduction in cost, or an increase in productivity, or both.
Most SOA approaches are couched in the context of some business improvement or other. It might be the deployment of a new ERP system, where the benefit of decoupled services can be quantified more easily due to the nature of the services and the cost of maintenance versus the same task with monolithic applications. Many IT shops are making SOA concepts - services, service buses, asynchronous invocations, and the like - a part of future designs and hoping at some point, when the shop looks more service oriented than not, that funding to go the rest of the way will be easier to acquire. That may be the way SOA comes into full fruition, not with a bang, but with a series of small improvements. Happy holidays and have a great new year.
SYS-CON Media announced that IBM, which offers the world’s deepest portfolio of technologies and expertise that are transforming the future of work, has launched ad campaigns on SYS-CON’s numerous online magazines such as Cloud Computing Journal, Virtualization Journal, SOA World Magazine, and IoT Journal. IBM’s campaigns focus on vendors in the technology marketplace, the future of testing, Big Data and analytics, and mobile platforms.
Mar. 28, 2015 11:15 AM EDT Reads: 1,585
SYS-CON Events announced today the IoT Bootcamp – Jumpstart Your IoT Strategy, being held June 9–10, 2015, in conjunction with 16th Cloud Expo and Internet of @ThingsExpo at the Javits Center in New York City. This is your chance to jumpstart your IoT strategy. Combined with real-world scenarios and use cases, the IoT Bootcamp is not just based on presentations but includes hands-on demos and walkthroughs. We will introduce you to a variety of Do-It-Yourself IoT platforms including Arduino, Ras...
Mar. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,993
For those of us that have been practicing SOA for over a decade, it's surprising that there's so much interest in microservices. In fairness microservices don't look like the vendor play that was early SOA in the early noughties. But experienced SOA practitioners everywhere will be wondering if microservices is actually a good thing. You see microservices is basically an SOA pattern that inherits all the well-known SOA principles and adds characteristics that address the use of SOA for distribut...
Mar. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 931
Microservice architectures are the new hotness, even though they aren't really all that different (in principle) from the paradigm described by SOA (which is dead, or not dead, depending on whom you ask). One of the things this decompositional approach to application architecture does is encourage developers and operations (some might even say DevOps) to re-evaluate scaling strategies. In particular, the notion is forwarded that an application should be built to scale and then infrastructure sho...
Mar. 28, 2015 11:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,347
Microservices are the result of decomposing applications. That may sound a lot like SOA, but SOA was based on an object-oriented (noun) premise; that is, services were built around an object - like a customer - with all the necessary operations (functions) that go along with it. SOA was also founded on a variety of standards (most of them coming out of OASIS) like SOAP, WSDL, XML and UDDI. Microservices have no standards (at least none deriving from a standards body or organization) and can be b...
Mar. 28, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 2,068
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today's cloud world, we're revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place. Listen in to learn why following "the book" doesn't necessarily mean that you're solving key business problems.
Mar. 28, 2015 10:45 AM EDT Reads: 1,176
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...
Mar. 28, 2015 10:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,065
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...
Mar. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,755
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...
Mar. 28, 2015 10:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,510
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 ...
Mar. 28, 2015 09:15 AM EDT Reads: 2,152
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.
Mar. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,116
Modern Systems announced completion of a successful project with its new Rapid Program Modernization (eavRPMa"c) software. The eavRPMa"c technology architecturally transforms legacy applications, enabling faster feature development and reducing time-to-market for critical software updates. Working with Modern Systems, the University of California at Santa Barbara (UCSB) leveraged eavRPMa"c to transform its Student Information System from Software AG's Natural syntax to a modern application lev...
Mar. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 749
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...
Mar. 28, 2015 09:00 AM EDT Reads: 712
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...
Mar. 28, 2015 08:30 AM EDT Reads: 1,993
Even though it’s now Microservices Journal, long-time fans of SOA World Magazine can take comfort in the fact that the URL – soa.sys-con.com – remains unchanged. And that’s no mistake, as microservices are really nothing more than a new and improved take on the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices we struggled to hammer out over the last decade. Skeptics, however, might say that this change is nothing more than an exercise in buzzword-hopping. SOA is passé, and now that people are ...
Mar. 28, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,138
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...
Mar. 28, 2015 08:00 AM EDT Reads: 540
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...
Mar. 28, 2015 07:00 AM EDT Reads: 2,078
Our guest on the podcast this week is Jason Bloomberg, President at Intellyx. When we build services we want them to be lightweight, stateless and scalable while doing one thing really well. In today’s cloud world, we’re revisiting what to takes to make a good service in the first place.microservices Listen in to learn why following “the book” doesn’t necessarily mean that you’re solving key business problems.
Mar. 28, 2015 03:00 AM EDT Reads: 993
The Open Compute Project is a collective effort by Facebook and a number of players in the datacenter industry to bring lessons learned from the social media giant's giant IT deployment to the rest of the world. Datacenters account for 3% of global electricity consumption – about the same as all of Switzerland or the Czech Republic -- according to people I met at the recent Open Compute Summit in San Jose. With increasing mobility at the edge of the cloud and vast new dataflows being pre...
Mar. 28, 2015 01:00 AM EDT Reads: 1,780
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cisco, the worldwide leader in IT that transforms how people connect, communicate and collaborate, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of 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. Cisco makes amazing things happen by connecting the unconnected. Cisco has shaped the future of the Internet by becoming the worldwide leader in transforming how people connect, communicate and collaborat...
Mar. 27, 2015 07:00 PM EDT Reads: 5,123