More ways to measure SOA success

The recent Gartner advice is fine, but I have a few more things to add that are specific to SOA.

Joe McKendrick expands on the recent Gartner report, including Gartner's "9 ways to measure SOA success":

  1. Improved efficiency, particularly with respect to business processes execution
  2. Lower process administrative costs
  3. Higher visibility on existing/running business processes
  4. Reduced number of manual, paper-based steps
  5. Better service-level effectiveness
  6. Quicker implementation of processes
  7. Quicker time to market
  8. Shorter (overall) project cycles
  9. Overall reduction in the total cost of application development and maintenance

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Pretty basic, if you ask me -- not to take anything away from Gartner. Indeed, these nine measurements are really about any successful architecture, using SOA approaches or not, which is fine. However, I have a few of my own that are more specific to SOA.

  1. The ability to alter schemas without affecting services and/or processes. In essence, you've created an architecture that's able to accommodate changes to the underlying data structures without driving redevelopment of any services or processes that leverage that data structure.
  2. The ability to alter services and/or processes, without altering schemas. The same concept as No. 1, but we're just going the other way.
  3. The ability to create and alter core business processes using a configuration, rather than a programming approach. The idea is to place volatility into a single domain, such as a process/orchestration layer or a composite (aka mashups), thus avoiding constant redevelopment and testing.
  4. The ability to leverage processes and services from outside of the enterprise, such as from a cloud computing provider. We're clearly moving in this direction, and much of the motivation behind SOA is the ability to make this type of convergence easy.
  5. The ability to expose processes and services from inside of the enterprise. In short, going the other direction.

If these measurements apply, you can call it SOA. Just a few more to consider.

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