Burton Group: 'SOA is not a solution that comes in a tidy little box'

SOA never comes in a box, and sometimes what comes in that box isn't what you need.

On Oct. 20-23, The Burton Group is having their Catalyst Conference Europe in Prague. I spoke at this event several years ago in Spain, and I was impressed by the conference. I've known Anne Thomas Manes since 1996 and always love her take on any emerging hype-driven space. It's, well, real world.

What's important about the research that these guys are doing is that they are discovering what's not working, along with what is. That's very different than the other firms that seem to focus on what's hype-driven, and not how to make specific things work within complex and politically-driven enterprises.

Personally, in the world of SOA I've focused on the "what" and the "how," and the "how" is much harder. However, without the "how" the "what" has no value. For instance, a SOA governance tool has no value without dealing with the people, processes, procedures, and politics (the 4 Ps of SOA success). SOA never comes in a box, and sometimes what comes in that box isn't what you need.

The following is from the Application Platform Strategies overview, by Anne:

Most large enterprises have launched an initiative to adopt service-oriented architecture (SOA), but SOA is not a solution that comes in a tidy little box. SOA is a new way to design systems, and it is more about culture than it is about technology. SOA will impact many aspects of an organization -- from software development and operations to accounting and incentive systems. Governance is critical.

I Could not have said it better.

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