SOA is DOA, unless you break the bottlenecks

Plus: Longhorn love affair and an IT ghost story

As you read this, the InfoWorld staff is making final, feverish preparations for our two-day SOA Executive Forum, which goes live this Tuesday at the Roosevelt Hotel in New York City. The theme for this incarnation of the forum -- the eighth in a long-running series -- is SOA bottlenecks and how to break them. Executive Editor Eric Knorr, aka Mr. SOA, has packed both days with customer case studies from the likes of ADP, Amtrak, BT, Comcast, Credit Suisse, Lockheed Martin, GM, Standard & Poor’s, and TD Ameritrade. With that kind of big-company firepower on display, the program promises to be highly entertaining -- and just plain useful for anyone contemplating the SOA journey.

If you're in the NY metropolitan area, there's still time to sign up. Readers of this newsletter can register at with priority code EIFW to snag a $195 two-day conference pass. If you can't make it in person, though, Contributing Editor Galen Gruman's "Breaking SOA Bottlenecks" will provide you with a taste of the proceedings. Gruman consulted with some of IT's top SOA practitioners and analysts to come up with 10 classic mistakes that companies often fall prey to in their quest for "the Holy Grail of agility-seeking enterprises."

Yager in love

Another quest, Microsoft's mission to ship Longhorn, will soon be complete. Windows Server "Longhorn" beta 3 is now available, and our own Tom Yager -- who has savaged many a former Windows Server release -- took the latest version into the woodshed for a long look. And surprise … Tom has developed a crush. He continues to question the product's elevated price tag, but concerning functionality, he's over the moon. As Yager notes in his preview, "From what I've seen in beta 3, [Longhorn] will sweep Linux off the table in some of those well-moneyed places where the heavy lifting is … done by unsinkable big iron Unix… [A] server's resume has to include scalability, security, manageability, and extensibility, and Longhorn's got a far better story on these fronts than Microsoft's ever had."

Speaking of good stories, this week's Off the Record is a doozy -- a real-life ghost story, complete with creaking sounds, slamming doors, and unexplained breezes wafting from the server room. Now, I admit that when I first read "The ghost who sabotaged the mainframe," I was not inclined to publish it. I suspected someone was trying to pull a fast one, and using Off the Record's guaranteed cloak of anonymity to get away with it. But before hitting delete, I sent a note to the author to see whether he'd vouch for his fantastical tale. Imagine my surprise when Larry Lebow, longtime director of IT at the American Jewish Committee, responded immediately with "I stand behind it completely. And I am more than willing, and very happy, to have my name associated with it." Once Lebow went on the record with Off the Record, I knew I had to share his story. It's up to you to believe it or not.