Trifanny's Blog

7 December 2009

SOA is NOT Dead, just Hidden

Filed under: Information Technology — Maria Trifanny Fransiska @ 22:01

3 Tier & SOA

In early year 2009, as all we have already known, the world of IT was shocked by the publishing of one blog with title “SOA is Dead; Long Life Services”, which was posted by Anne Thomas Manes. Since its appearance, even until now, it became a hot topic in IT community. Many people have given their reaction, either pro or contra. So, what is the main problem in this case actually and why it happened? Let we look this case once more, and discuss it part by part.

What is the main problem?

After I read many times, I’ve got these sequence points to describe what is really happened here:

  1. Anne claimed “SOA is dead”. It’s because….
  2. Business people no longer believe that SOA will deliver spectacular benefits. It’s because….
  3. Except in rare situation, SOA, that supposed to reduce costs and increase agility, has failed to deliver its promised benefits.

So the root issue here is about the failure of SOA to deliver its promised benefits.

SOA Maturity Pyramid

Why SOA failed to deliver its promised benefits?

In my opinion, there are two points to answer this question: “misperception of SOA” and “bad utilizing of SOA”

First, we talk about “misperception of SOA”. Nowadays, many people have misunderstanding of SOA. They thought that SOA is technology, but is not. It is architecture and a way of thinking about system’s design, on the other word SOA is talk about concept. In reality, people forgot what SOA stands for. They focused on technology, not on business where they’re supposed to be. Actually the core of SOA is like what defined by Steven Jones: First, you need to identify your service, understand the business value that they deliver, understand the cost model to deliver that value and then decide on the right technology approach.

So, from this part, if what Anne means about the death of SOA is about its technology, I have to agree. As all we know, all technologies have cyclic, born, and live, die, and change with the new one. But about its concept, SOA isn’t dead, at least not now.

The second aspect that caused the failure of SOA is about “bad utilizing of SOA”. Surely, the most related component on this issue is people. David Linthicum has analyzed well all the reasons that make the utilizing of SOA is going bad and become worse, as describe below:

  • Lack of skilled architects who understand SOA.
  • Big consulting firms focusing more on tactics and billable hours than results
  • The vendors focused too much on selling and not enough on the solution.
  • Hype that SOA is a panacea to all IT woes

SOA has a deep concept that can not be learned only by one or two years. Once that everyone must realize, SOA is about lifetime learning.


Above all my explanation about SOA, here’s my conclusion about the question “Is SOA dead?

Nope, SOA is not dead, it’s just hidden behind the failure of people and technology that implementing it.


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