If you named last week in the SOA blogosphere, it was clearly "SOA is dead" week, with blogs and twits bouncing back and forth around Anne Thomas Manes' post. I had Anne on the podcast last week (I should post it soon), and I found that Anne, as always, was making some very good points. However, you would not know it if you read some of the follow-up posts out there.
I thought that in his most recent post, Joe McKendrick did a good job in wrapping up this issue:
Anne says her statement was widely misinterpreted. She says she was not -- repeat, not -- advocating incremental approaches over "Big SOA"; nor was she advocating REST adoption over WS-* as the service protocol that underpins SOA. Nor was she saying that moniker "SOA" itself was flawed, so we have to call it something else.
A few more points on this:
First, many people don't read the content of blogs, just the headlines. I've found this as well. Thus, most comments railing against Anne were mostly kneejerk and uninformed. I've been a victim of this so many times, I've stopped counting. Somebody will take something out of context, and then take your very valid point off to crazy land.
Second, architectural concepts never die, they just fold into other things. I believe that the value from SOA will actually increase tremendously once we get beyond the hype and the misinformation out there.
Finally, we should always be asking questions about the value of this stuff, without having people shout you down. Again, I've pushed back on a few things in the past, and I was actually punished for it. Albeit, I turned out to be correct. I'm not going to stop asking the unpopular questions, and I'm sure people and companies will continue to try to punish me for it.
Ann followed up this week.
My real point is that we should not be talking about an architectural concept that has no universally accepted definition and an indefensible value proposition. Instead we should be talking about concrete things (like services) and concrete architectural practices (like application portfolio management) that deliver real value to the business.
I am pleased to see that some people for the most part correctly interpreted the article. The following posts add a bit of perceptive enrichment to the conversation: