Friday, November 16, 2007

SOA World 2007 Observations

I just came back from SOA World 2007 in the beautiful city of San Francisco. What a nice city, I always love visiting this charming town. But anyway, the reason for my trip was to attend SOA World 2007, so I had no time to enjoy this lovely place.

I see some really important shifts in people’s perception and adoption of SOA infrastructure. Here is my view:

  1. Many people somehow still perceive SOA as being largely about Web Services, which was rather surprising.
  2. The focus around SOA governance revolves primarily around deployment, policy management, and version control. Very few really focus on monitoring, especially performance and transactional monitoring, which is key for assuring the quality of service of SOA enabled applications. Most SOA governance tools are still all about Web Services. What about more advanced SOA deployments with ESB, brokers, and non WebService based environment? That is a much bigger problem to deal with and more complex indeed.
  3. It is now widely accepted that the SOA based paradigm is not suitable for all types of problems, which is good. Previously somehow many believed that SOA is going to solve many if not all problems. I think many are disillusioned; so many projects have failed and are still continuing to fail. At the end of the day, SOA may be just one of the practices in the Architects "toolbox" to solve specific sets of problems. While I agree that most failures are not attributed to the SOA concept itself, I think the bigger issue is around people, processes, best practices and expectations.

It is interesting to see a new term like "governance" replacing a good old term like "management". In fact, what is the difference between SOA governance and SOA management? I don’t see any difference. So we have a new slew of concepts and terms, which really add very little over and above the good old terminology.

During one of the presentations I saw the heading "SOA is bigger then SOA" -- very amusing. Not sure what the author meant by that. But somehow it grabbed my attention:)

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