It’s the Services . . .

“SOA met its demise on January 1, 2009.”

That announcement in a Burton Group Application Platform blog is the starting place for many comments in the past year on the health of service-oriented architecture (SOA).

“The blog headline does say ‘SOA is dead,’ which is wrong. But the part of the headline that few people note is ‘long live services,’” according to Grace Lewis, a senior researcher at the Carnegie Mellon Software Engineering Institute (SEI). Lewis and others have developed a research agenda for SOA (View a presentation on the agenda.)

While wrong in writing off SOA, the obituary does point out something important for the future. “We need to move away from considering SOA as a set of technologies to embrace service-orientation as a way to design, implement and deploy systems,” Grace says.

Grace points out that these “pillars of SOA adoption” are essential for success with SOA:

  • alignment with mission and business goals
  • instantiation of principles of SOA governance
  • evaluation of relevant technologies for SOA implementation
  • recognition that SOA requires a different mindset than traditional development

All in all, “The technologies to implement SOA will most probably change over time, but the concepts will remain,” Grace predicts.

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