August 14, 2007 by jimstogdill
SOA as Panacea
To deliver effective solutions the IT landscape needs to cover a lot of ground: enterprise integration, user experience, application architecture, “stacks”, languages (Java isn’t the only one, even now), data standards, and so on. In 1996 most IT trade magazines seemed to forget about everything but the web and the thin layer of technologies that it was implemented on. Today the Department of Defense sort of feels sort of that way as all discussion of anything other than SOA has been drowned out. SOA is the panacea of the moment. “We won’t build applications anymore, we’ll just have services out in the cloud and people, machines, and whatever will discover them and consume them.”
Naturally, I don’t think that statement makes sense as the real world is more complex and nuanced than that. If you don’t believe me, just tell your users they don’t need applications and that they can just go to your UDDI repository, find services, and start mentally de-serializing SOAP envelopes.
But that isn’t really what triggered this post. This article about the complexity of enterprise software that Nick Carr discussed today did. It is a sceptical (if dour) take on SOA as rescuer from complexity. If it wasn’t enough that SOA alone just doesn’t cover all the basis, it may just be that SOA adds as much complexity as it attempts to contain.