Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Rumors of My Death Have Been Greatly Exaggerated

Posted on January 09, 2009 0 Comments

There was a time when I was diving intensively and I'd call my boss at the end of vacation to let him know I was still alive and would be back in the office as planned. I even left my passwords and his information with my brother so my bro could send him my laptop if a fatal event occurred. Have you ever written a "here's what to do if I die" letter to anyone before? I highly recommend it. It's good for the soul.

But, I digress... We're not here to talk about my death but the death of service-oriented architecture (SOA). It's all the rage since Anne's post the other day.

A good summary of the chatter it's stirred up can be found on Twitter, so I won't head there. But, I will point out that the second comment on Anne's post was mine - and I think my one line summarizes most people's feelings - whether they believe SOA is dead or not:

"SOA must die, so we can move on with, well... SOA"

From our perspective here at Actional, the death of SOA from a marketing perspective (but not from a technical one!) has been going on for some time. So, I wanted to give some insight (I'm usually not punny but couldn't resist - go ahead, click on the "insight link" to see what I mean) into our messaging and positioning of the Actional platform in advance of some releases you'll see later this month.

Clearly, we're defocusing our SOA message. There's been a bit of disillusionment with SOA, and associating with it doesn't seem to be in vogue. Now, we're not the only ones to do this. One of our competitors has decided there are many "hot topics" to grab onto and has a flash animation scrolling through them all to make sure people realize their solution is as good for cloud, SaaS, Web 2.0, and composite apps, as it is for SOA.

Our perspective is different. From our perspective, a SOA message is limiting. Fundamentally, we're about managing/controlling services, and anything built upon services, regardless of whether a SOA architecture is used or not. We (and I) believe that by messaging around SOA, organizations that are disillusioned will "throw the baby out with the bathwater" when, in fact, huge ROI* can be achieved with Actional.

The Buyers' Guide I wrote recently mentions SOA only once, and talks more about composite applications and business processes (both based upon services) and the benefits of a performant solution like Actional providing visibility and control. (Email me directly if you want a copy without registering.)

For the record, I believe fully in SOA, SOA principles and the use of SOA to drive business and IT alignment. Done properly, SOA infrastructure adds agility, accountability, and makes IT's contribution more visible to executives from a business perspective. I'll be very happy when the SOA paparazzi move onto a younger celebrity and let us get on with our SOA lives.

* Later this quarter - frankly, I'm just not sure of the date - we will be releasing some independent third party ROI analysis and case studies of some of our production customers. The idea being that these customers have adopted Actional for some time. What did they achieve? What was their ROI? What is their future expected ROI? And, how can you use this information (discounted for risk) to justify a decision on Actional? Stay tuned.

david bressler

View all posts from david bressler on the Progress blog. Connect with us about all things application development and deployment, data integration and digital business.


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