Microservices Expo Authors: Elizabeth White, Liz McMillan, Derek Weeks, Mehdi Daoudi, Don MacVittie

Related Topics: Microservices Expo

Microservices Expo: Article

Learning from SOA Mistakes

A guide to SOA anti-patterns - how to benefit from known unworkable solutions

Capturing the Experience
So that all enterprises can benefit from the experience of early adopters of SOA, it's important that companies deploying SOA, companies providing SOA solutions, and companies providing tools communicate with each other. Participation in industry bodies and consortia can be an excellent way of doing that. Outside the commercial arena, free of the pressure to pick a product or make a sale, people can exchange ideas and discuss approaches to realizing SOA.

The Open Group is a vendor-neutral consortium whose vision is boundary-less information flow in and between organizations. It sees SOA as the prime architectural approach by which enterprises can realize that vision. Its SOA Working Group exists to develop and foster common understanding of SOA to facilitate alignment between the business and information technology communities. It does this by conducting a work program to produce definitions, analyses, recommendations, reference models, and standards to assist business and information technology professionals in and outside the Open Group to understand and adopt SOA. Participation in forums such as this helps people learn from others and capture common experience for the benefit of the wider community.

It's particularly important that anti-patterns are identified and described, and catalogued in a structured way. In the SOA Advanced Technology team at IBM, for example, an effort is under way to identify SOA anti-patterns from experiences with SOA customer engagements. The goals of this effort are, in addition to identifying the anti-patterns, to catalogue them for future reference, and to develop educational material on anti-patterns. And the practice of detecting anti-patterns at all stages of the SOA solution lifecycle is being enforced too.

SOA use is growing explosively. But when an enterprise uses any new approach, mistakes are likely, and SOA is no exception to this rule. For this reason, it's vital that the experience of the first adopters of SOA is captured for the benefit of all enterprises. Identification and documentation of anti-patterns - attractive apparent solutions that are known not to work - will help enterprises avoid mistakes and successfully implement SOA.

We hope that we have provided some useful thoughts on how to avoid known mistakes in a SOA project. Some of the most important lessons are:

  • Be sure to include skills development in your plan.
  • Plan for incremental releases, building on one another and testing as you go.
  • Web Services are an important technology but, by themselves, they aren't SOA. SOA is an architectural approach first and foremost!
  • Don't get trapped into thinking more services is a better solution. Having the right services is the better solution. Avoid anti-patterns like chatty services.
  • Adding point-to-point connections doesn't help; look to the Enterprise Service Bus pattern as way to simplify your architecture.
These aren't the only lessons. There are many anti-patterns to avoid. We are continuing to do research in this area and plan to publish further articles on the topic and encourage you, the practitioners, to join in this work, and get involved with other people and organizations working on SOA.

Where To Learn More
The Open Group SOA Working Group provides a very active forum for staying abreast of recent SOA developments. The group intends its work to be highly accessible to participants at all levels. You can find out more about the Open Group SOA Working group at www.opengroup.org/projects/soa/.

Besides the SOA Working Group, there are many sources for pattern and anti-pattern information. Below we list some we believe will be particularly useful.

1.  Jonathan Adams, Srinivas Koushik, Guru Vasudeva, and George Galambos. Patterns for e-Business: A Strategy for Reuse. MC Press. 2001.

2.  D. Alur, J. Crupi, and D. Malks. Core J2EE Patterns: Best Practices and Design Strategies. Prentice Hall/Sun Microsystems Press. ISBN: 0130648841.

3.  B. Dudney, S. Asbury, J. Krozak, and K. Wittkopf. J2EE Anti-Patterns. Wiley Publications. ISBN: 0471146153.

4.  E. Gamma, R. Helm, R. Johnson, and J. Vlissides. Design Patterns: Elements of Reusable Object-Oriented Software. Reading, Addison-Wesley. 1995.

5.  D. Hovemeyer and W. Pugh. "Finding Bugs is Easy."

6.  D. Reimer, E. Schonberg, K. Srinivas, H. Srinivasan, B. Alpern, R. D. Johnson, A. Kershenbaum, and L. Koved. SABER: Smart Analysis Based Error Reduction. In ISSTA. 2004.

7.  William J. Brown, Raphael C. Malveau, Hays W. "Skip" McCormick, and Thomas J. Mowbray. Anti-Patterns: Refactoring Software, Architectures, and Projects in Crisis. Paperback. March 20, 1998)

8.  Norbert Bieberstein, Sanjay Bose, Marc Fiammante, Keith Jones, and Rawn Shah. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Compass: Business Value, Planning, and Enterprise Roadmap. Developerworks. Hardcover. IBM Press

9.  Olaf Zimmermann, Mark R. Tomlinson, and Stefan Peuser. Perspectives on Web Services: Applying SOAP, WSDL, and UDDI to Real-World Projects. Springer Professional Computing. Hardcover. ISBN: 3540009140.

10.  Steve Jones. "SOA Anti-Patterns." CGI: http://www.infoq.com/articles/SOA-anti-patterns. Also check out Steve's blog @ http://service-architecture.blogspot.com/ Search for "anti-patterns" or "patterns."

11.  Ali Asranjani, Service-oriented modeling and architecture, How to identify, specify, and realize services for your SOA. IBM Developerworks. November 2004.

12.  SOA Survey article, www.govtech.net/magazine/channel_story.php/100246

13.  "Growth in SOA and Web Services Implementation." SDA Asia. July 25, 2006.

14. Jenny Ang, Luba Cherbakov, and Dr. Mamdouh Ibrahim. “SOA Antipatterns - The obstacles to the adoption and successful realization of service-oriented architecture.” 18 Nov 2005. IBM Developerworks: http://www-128.ibm.com/developerworks/webservices/library/ws-antipatterns/

More Stories By Tony Carrato

Tony Carrato is the worldwide chief operations architect for the SOA Advanced Technology team in IBM's Software Group, focusing on SOA delivery. In this role, he is responsible for a team of IT architects who help IBM clients define and implement SOA projects around the world. Tony has over 30 years of IT experience, concentrating in financial services and telecommunications. He has held a variety of senior technical positions in Australia, Hong Kong, and the U.S.

More Stories By Harini Srinivasan

Dr. Harini Srinivasan is on the SOA design requirements team at IBM Software Group – a team that works with customers and IBM architects to capture SOA specific requirements and articulate them to relevant IBM SOA technology groups including the SOA product divisions. Before joining the SOA design requirements team, she spent 10 years at IBM Research as a Research Staff Member and has worked on customer-focused research topics such as performance analysis tools, JVM runtimes (including instrumentation) and C++ object models. . Her background is program analysis (static and dynamic analysis for performance and debugging), parallel and distributed systems including compiling explicitly parallel programs and runtimes for Java and C++.

More Stories By Chris Harding

Dr. Chris Harding leads the SOA Working Group at The Open Group - an open forum of customers and suppliers of IT products and services. In addition, he is a director of the UDEF Forum and manages The Open Group?s work on semantic interoperability. He has been with The Open Group for over 10 years. Dr. Harding began his career in communications software research and development. He then spent nine years as a consultant, specializing in voice and data communications, before moving to his current role. Recognizing the importance of giving enterprises quality information at the point of use, he sees information interoperability as the next major challenge, and frequently speaks or writes on this topic. Dr. Harding has a PhD in mathematical logic, and is a member of the British Computer Society (BCS) and of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).

Comments (0)

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.

@MicroservicesExpo Stories
The dynamic nature of the cloud means that change is a constant when it comes to modern cloud-based infrastructure. Delivering modern applications to end users, therefore, is a constantly shifting challenge. Delivery automation helps IT Ops teams ensure that apps are providing an optimal end user experience over hybrid-cloud and multi-cloud environments, no matter what the current state of the infrastructure is. To employ a delivery automation strategy that reflects your business rules, making r...
As many know, the first generation of Cloud Management Platform (CMP) solutions were designed for managing virtual infrastructure (IaaS) and traditional applications. But that's no longer enough to satisfy evolving and complex business requirements. In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Scott Davis, Embotics CTO, explored how next-generation CMPs ensure organizations can manage cloud-native and microservice-based application architectures, while also facilitating agile DevOps methodology. He expla...
The past few years have brought a sea change in the way applications are architected, developed, and consumed—increasing both the complexity of testing and the business impact of software failures. How can software testing professionals keep pace with modern application delivery, given the trends that impact both architectures (cloud, microservices, and APIs) and processes (DevOps, agile, and continuous delivery)? This is where continuous testing comes in. D
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"I focus on what we are calling CAST Highlight, which is our SaaS application portfolio analysis tool. It is an extremely lightweight tool that can integrate with pretty much any build process right now," explained Andrew Siegmund, Application Migration Specialist for CAST, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Admiral Calcote - also known as Lee Calcote (@lcalcote) or the Ginger Geek to his friends - gave a presentation entitled Characterizing and Contrasting Container Orchestrators at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. Okay, he isn't really an admiral - nor does anyone call him that - but he used the title admiral to describe what container orchestrators do, relating it to an admiral directing a fleet of container ships. You could also say that they are like the conductor of an orchestra, directing...
The past few years have seen a huge increase in the amount of critical IT services that companies outsource to SaaS/IaaS/PaaS providers, be it security, storage, monitoring, or operations. Of course, along with any outsourcing to a service provider comes a Service Level Agreement (SLA) to ensure that the vendor is held financially responsible for any lapses in their service which affect the customer’s end users, and ultimately, their bottom line. SLAs can be very tricky to manage for a number ...
Our work, both with clients and with tools, has lead us to wonder how it is that organizations are handling compliance issues in the cloud. The big cloud vendors offer compliance for their infrastructure, but the shared responsibility model requires that you take certain steps to meet compliance requirements. Which lead us to start poking around a little more. We wanted to get a picture of what was available, and how it was being used. There is a lot of fluidity in this space, as in all things c...
Gaining visibility in today’s sprawling cloud infrastructure is complex and laborious, involving drilling down into tools offered by various cloud services providers. Enterprise IT organizations need smarter and effective tools at their disposal in order to address this pertinent problem. Gaining a 360 - degree view of the cloud costs requires collection and analysis of the cost data across all cloud infrastructures used inside an enterprise.
Some people are directors, managers, and administrators. Others are disrupters. Eddie Webb (@edwardawebb) is an IT Disrupter for Software Development Platforms at Liberty Mutual and was a presenter at the 2016 All Day DevOps conference. His talk, Organically DevOps: Building Quality and Security into the Software Supply Chain at Liberty Mutual, looked at Liberty Mutual's transformation to Continuous Integration, Continuous Delivery, and DevOps. For a large, heavily regulated industry, this task...
DevOps promotes continuous improvement through a culture of collaboration. But in real terms, how do you: Integrate activities across diverse teams and services? Make objective decisions with system-wide visibility? Use feedback loops to enable learning and improvement? With technology insights and real-world examples, in his general session at @DevOpsSummit, at 21st Cloud Expo, Andi Mann, Chief Technology Advocate at Splunk, explored how leading organizations use data-driven DevOps to clos...
The goal of Microservices is to improve software delivery speed and increase system safety as scale increases. Microservices being modular these are faster to change and enables an evolutionary architecture where systems can change, as the business needs change. Microservices can scale elastically and by being service oriented can enable APIs natively. Microservices also reduce implementation and release cycle time and enables continuous delivery. This paper provides a logical overview of the Mi...
The notion of improving operational efficiency is conspicuously absent from the healthcare debate - neither Obamacare nor the newly proposed GOP plan discusses the impact that a step-function improvement in efficiency could have on access to healthcare (through more capacity), quality of healthcare services (through reduced wait times for patients) or cost (through better utilization of scarce, expensive assets).
Gone are the days when application development was the daunting task of the highly skilled developers backed with strong IT skills, low code application development has democratized app development and empowered a new generation of citizen developers. There was a time when app development was in the domain of people with complex coding and technical skills. We called these people by various names like programmers, coders, techies, and they usually worked in a world oblivious of the everyday pri...
The “Digital Era” is forcing us to engage with new methods to build, operate and maintain applications. This transformation also implies an evolution to more and more intelligent applications to better engage with the customers, while creating significant market differentiators. In both cases, the cloud has become a key enabler to embrace this digital revolution. So, moving to the cloud is no longer the question; the new questions are HOW and WHEN. To make this equation even more complex, most ...
Some journey to cloud on a mission, others, a deadline. Change management is useful when migrating to public, private or hybrid cloud environments in either case. For most, stakeholder engagement peaks during the planning and post migration phases of a project. Legacy engagements are fairly direct: projects follow a linear progression of activities (the “waterfall” approach) – change managers and application coders work from the same functional and technical requirements. Enablement and develo...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Synametrics Technologies will exhibit at SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Synametrics Technologies is a privately held company based in Plainsboro, New Jersey that has been providing solutions for the developer community since 1997. Based on the success of its initial product offerings such as WinSQL, Xeams, SynaMan and Syncrify, Synametrics continues to create and hone in...
Kubernetes is an open source system for automating deployment, scaling, and management of containerized applications. Kubernetes was originally built by Google, leveraging years of experience with managing container workloads, and is now a Cloud Native Compute Foundation (CNCF) project. Kubernetes has been widely adopted by the community, supported on all major public and private cloud providers, and is gaining rapid adoption in enterprises. However, Kubernetes may seem intimidating and complex ...
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.
For DevOps teams, the concepts behind service-oriented architecture (SOA) are nothing new. A style of software design initially made popular in the 1990s, SOA was an alternative to a monolithic application; essentially a collection of coarse-grained components that communicated with each other. Communication would involve either simple data passing or two or more services coordinating some activity. SOA served as a valid approach to solving many architectural problems faced by businesses, as app...