Thursday, January 10, 2008

The Backbone of SOA is Standardization?!?

Hurry out and buy this report on SOA from Input. I read the insightful reformatting of it on Washington Technology. It is frankly amazing how this publication can continue to peddle such inane drivel. Apparently, SOA is about standardization now:

SOA calls for agencies to standardize their technologies, which could create a significant shift in the market, said Deniece Peterson, senior analyst with Reston, Va.-based Input’s Executive Program.

“Standardization is the backbone of SOA,” she said. “For providers who usually supply proprietary solutions, this will force them to find other ways to be best-of-breed. If they don’t, they’ll just become very easily replaced.” On the other hand, providers who understand SOA and can market their offerings accordingly stand to gain.

Well, at least it's not about alignment anymore. I am glad this genius is spreading her BS straight to the executives. Do they notice when everyone says SOA is about something different?

At least I understand how it works now. Years ago, some developer decided that applications should have APIs (and the running instances of those APIs are services) so the data+application could be used in a loosely joined confederation of multiple systems. And lots of other software architect types noticed and gave it a name and said it was good, while slipping in their own favorite protocol or application in there. So, before anyone really agreed on what it meant, the word was out that SOA was good. Since basically all it means is good, any fool can say whatever jibberish they want is SOA as a shorthand for saying it's good in some technical way you don't understand.

Googling "backbone of soa" is instructive. I found these:
"Backbone of SOA is Service"
"Web services are the backbone of SOA"
"ESBs have become universally accepted at the backbone of SOA"
"ESB is the backbone of SOA"
"we suggest that you seriously consider an en-masse deployment of AMQP as the backbone of SOA"
"Messaging is the backbone of SOA"
"XML is the backbone of SOA"
"With processes serving as the backbone of SOA-based composite applications"
"distributed computing, which is the backbone of SOA"
"It's very appealing to mainframe customers, and the System z, which is the latest mainframe, is fully enabled to be the backbone of SOA"

With all of these backbones, maybe we should switch the software design metaphor from architect to anatomist. I am personally in favor of REST+JSON as the middle finger of SOA.

Frequent readers of my blog may recall that the appeal of the content-free term is simple: people in the business appreciate being served by IT, as opposed to the unfortunate situations that always seem to occur when IT departments are giving the job of enforcer of business rules via the replacement of efficient ad hoc systems with official electronic processes from which thou shall not deviate.

Are you being served?


FantomPlanet said...

You going to stop by that lady's office and smack her in the back of the head?

Matt M said...

Sadly, I am paying these folks for their analysis of upcoming contract opportunities. Maybe I'm the one that needs a smack.