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SOA - We Got the Name Wrong

SOA - We Got the Name Wrong

February 18, 2008 0 Comments

For years those of us with a technical mind have found great technologies and looked to solve issues (normally technical with them).  But the merging of the Business and Technical mind are coming together more and more.  We see this especially with the use of SOA infrastructure where services can be plugged together to form business oriented solutions.

Within the last few weeks I have seen various blogs, such as Top 10 mistakes when implementing SOA projects by TaRiQ, that notes that at least one of the reasons that SOA implementations fail (see point 5) is because we forget that it is a business problem that is ultimately being solved - otherwise, lets face it, we are just performing a science experiment.

So to shift the focus, I am renaming SOA from Service Oriented Architecture to Solution Oriented Architecture, this moves the problem front and center not the technology.  Yes, we still need the various technologies to solve the solution: ESB for connection, mediation and control of the services, governance and visibility to manage and control the complete solution, and data management to ensure that all the information we use is correct. But we are now also using these and others in a combined manner to reach a complete solution.

Hopefully with this I will no longer have to argue with developers why making every Java object (I am sure there are .NET developers who feel the same - I just tend not to meet as many of them) a web-service is not a good idea (these are mere implementation issues).  And that you can still create a hub and spoke architecture or point to point deployment with Web-services even if they are open standards.  Note that I did find one reference to "Solution Oriented Architecture" when I Googled it, see blog entry, so maybe I am second here.   But what if we take this to the next stage and SaaS now becomes Solutions as a Service, or maybe Software as a Solution is better, IaaS becomes Information as a Solution or Integration as a Solution; depending on the definition that you use.

Or, perhaps, we should look at changing the acronyms completely and SOA becomes SOB - Service Oriented Business (or what you do if it fails), but my new favorite is BaaS - Business as a Service where companies would now be a service or services, but I guess nothing is that new because I can Google BaaS and get references to that too.

Maybe some of these work better than others what do you think?  Are there any other logical combinations of Business, Service, Architecture, etc. that have not been used?

David Millman

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

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