SOA Trends – Minus the Hype

Why has SOA risen like a phoenix from the ashes after it was declared as dead by Burton Group (now Gartner) analyst Anne Thomas Manes? Is it because the end of slowdown is in sight or is there some other reason?
Recent statistics from Forrester says that the adoption of SOA is strong even during the slowdown. That means that SOA adoption never stopped. Probably there is a difference in perception on what SOA is between the Analysts and the people down in the trenches.

SOA started its life as an architectural technique for achieving loose coupling but within a couple of years became a business initiative to create reusable services mirroring the real world business. However, in reality, it primarily gets used to build multi-channel applications where common business logic is encapsulated inside services.

Now coming back to question 3 & 4 – [You need to read this post in conjunction with my earlier post where I had raised 4 questions and answered 2 of them].

3. If the current trend continues then where will it be in one year time?

  • SOA will become the standard principle for multi-channel application design.
  • However there will be a realization that services designed for multi-channel application will not be suitable for hybrid cloud.
  • A new terminology may get coined for SOA.

4. What happens if you take no action on the specific technology for next one year?

If you don’t have to service multiple channels then don’t bother with redoing applications the SOA way. However, if you are building new applications makes sense to attempt loose coupling through use of services.

Though it is not mandatory to purchase SOA products, if you are interested in updating yourself on who the SOA product providers are have a look at this report from Gartner.

SOA – the Phoenix act

In 5th January 2009, Anne Thomas Manes declared that “SOA is Dead; Long Live Services”. The original post is no longer accessible but the Google cached copy can be accessed. Just before this Gartner had announced that the Number of Organizations Planning to Adopt SOA for the First Time Is Falling Dramatically.

Prior to this SOA has been moving along nicely on the Gartner hype cycle for emerging technologies (though it had mysteriously gone missing on 2006). However, it has again gone missing from the 2010 hype cycle.

In the recent survey Forrester claimed that Adoption Of SOA: Still Strong, Even In Hard Times.

Even Gartner recently has gone on to declare that …SOA becomes like electricity. It’s just there

What is SOA?

Is SOA about …

  1. …design of the services – which mirror real-world business activities, or
  2. …achieving loose coupling among interacting software agents

The Open Group says that it is the former – The SOA Work Group : Definition of SOA. It is the reflection of the thinking among the experts around 2007.

But, if you roll back to around 2003 you would have selected the later – What Is Service-Oriented Architecture. Even, Gartner had published a white paper which leans towards the second definition – Predicts 2003: SOA Is Changing Software.

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