Monday, 10 September 2007

Business driven?

I've been attending several seminars on SOA lately, and all presenters agree on one issue: SOA should be Business Driven. I really do agree with that, but it also made me wonder: why is it that it's mostly the IT vendors who are pushing SOA?

The principle of SOA can be stated as: separation of concerns. In my mind, that's the central theme of SOA. Separation of concern isn't anything new to IT. Ever since I started in the early 80s, we've been trying to solve problems by decomposing them into smaller pieces where each piece addresses a distinct part of the problem. Service orientation, which is the means of SOA, defines the characteristics of these pieces, like loose coupling, autonomy and statelessness. So it is no real surprise to see the IT vendors jumping to it.

But SOA is more than just the technological approach. The separation of concern can also be applied to the business. Look at Business Process Management for instance. One of the techniques that's used here is Process Analysis, which consists mostly of decomposing processes into smaller, clearly defined sub-processes.

The one thing that differs in SOA from the 'old-skool' approach of decomposition is that it also adds the concept of Orchestration. Orchestration is the means by which business functionality (whether or not automated) is structured and executed. And isn't that where the business value comes from .... ?

Saturday, 1 September 2007

Why Service Orientation ?

Service orientation is rapidly becoming mainstream. What makes it so valuable? Is it just another new hype that will blow over soon? SOA is supposed to be business driven, so how come it's being pushed so hard by IT vendors? Are there any people out there doing SOA, or is it just talk? Means using webservices you have an SOA? Where does technology comes in? What's the best technology for SOA? Is there a methodology for SOA?

I will be posting my thoughts, but more important: my experiences, upon these questions in this blog. Not that I have all the answers, though. It will be interesting to see who's got the answers, or how we go out to get them!