SOA: Dead or just in 'phase 2'?

SOA enters "phase 2" -- so what was "phase 1"?

Joe McKendrick covered Software AG's SOA Summit, held last week, and had some great feedback from the event. Like the IBM Impact event, which spent too much time pushing back on the whole "SOA is dead" thing, it appears that Software AG was pushing back hard as well.

While the preamble of the title, "SOA is Dead," grabbed a lot of headlines and generated huge discussion, it's the second part that often got lost in the shuffle. But some commentators did pick up on what [analyst] Anne [Thomas Manes] meant; that businesses need to get busy focusing on delivering services that fix a problem or deliver more value; and not get caught up in the idea of having some kind of an "SOA project."

Joe is one of the few pundits out there who understands what Anne meant by her blog post. It was more about being productive with SOA than SOA being dead. However, most did not bother to read beyond the headline. You can hear my podcast with Anne on that topic.

The problem is that those who sell SOA technology, such as both IBM and Software AG, saw any negative news around SOA as being a revenue reducer, and thus had a concerted campaign to attack creditability and not focus on the core argument. I suspect that half of the people who are pushing back have not read the post.

Moreover, I think that too much protesting could have a blowback effect, considering that it was more of a think piece, and once people look at what was actually said, they are a bit confused by the noise. My advice would be to focus on making SOA better, not on what others are saying, good or bad.

So what's new with SOA? "Phase 2," of course.

A lot of the speakers talked about moving into "Phase 2" of SOA, which moves the methodology from technical projects to that of business transformation enabler. This is the phase when business value is being recognized and documented. This is also a time when SOA proponents need to step up and show the value of these approaches to the business.

So, when was this not a part of "phase 1?" If you don't look at the business value before you start your SOA, why are you building an SOA? The business case is always the first step, I've been clear about that over the years -- not sure why this is news now.

A bit grumpy today, as you can tell.

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