The Death of SOA?

Someone at the office sent around a link to an InfoWorld article that discusses a blog post made by Anne Thomas Manes, vice president and research director at Burton Group, in which she announces the death of SOA.

I thought my response was worthy to share on my blog, so here it is:

It’s an interesting argument she makes in the obit. She’s saying that the term “SOA” has become confusing and, thus, misleading. All it is anymore is marketing-speak, just like “Web 2.0.” Everyone and their brother has a different idea of what Web 2.0 means, and I suspect the same has happened for SOA. However, she says that “although the word ‘SOA’ is dead, the requirement for service-oriented architecture is stronger than ever.”

She goes on to say that “successful SOA (i.e., application re-architecture) requires disruption to the status quo. SOA is not simply a matter of deploying new technology and building service interfaces to existing applications; it requires redesign of the application portfolio. And it requires a massive shift in the way IT operates.”

What is required is good software architecture, not simply throwing on layers and layers of other services and hoping for the best.

I think this is her own attempt to disrupt the status quo. She wants to do away with the terminology because it has clouded the real issue. What’s the real issue? She highlights this when she concludes: “and that’s where we need to concentrate from this point forward: Services.”

IMO, bolting on services should never become a replacement for good software architecture, and I think that’s what has happened in many cases with SOA. Instead, we need to really think about and design how services fit into an “application portfolio.”