Posted by Jim Jagielski on Monday, November 13. 2006 in Programming

IMO, SOA runs the very real danger of being so overhyped that it dies a horrible and untimely death. Not so much because it's a "technology" that doesn't meet the hype, but rather it's a definition defined several different ways, and a horrible, but widely held, interpretation of the term, can easily be the killing stroke. Of course, one danger is that people think of SOA as a technology, but it's not; it's a mindset, an ideology. Unfortunately, either SOA advocates don't make that clear (which confuses people) or else try to actively avoid saying it (which makes people think they are being sneaky). I've found that most places that do a better job at defining what SOA is, and isn't, are those that are promoting REST... if you want to know SOA, google REST. Another problem is that too many places associate the theology of SOA with a bus-centric implementation (ESB) (or some other specific implementation), so if the implementation sucks, then so does SOA itself. This is, of course, unfair to SOA and to the many ESB and non-ESB implementations that do do it right. And finally, SOA itself doesn't require, IMO, a "centric" approach at all... at least not when you consider what is core to SOA. But again, sometimes that isn't made clear, and people are afraid that an environment that is SOA "compliant" cannot at the same time be lightweight. People want simple. But of course, that is starting to sound more like REST (real REST, not just HTTP+POX) than SOA at all, so I'll stop there.

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