The other day someone mentioned that people are afraid of SOA… well, BOO! I think that's just plain crazy. People should not be afraid of SOA.
On the other hand, I can certainly understand why they might be. SOA can result in distributed architectures, which can, in turn, result in implementation complexity. While SOA can deliver the benefit of agility, that doesn't necessarily mean it's easy to implement. We have all seen our share of projects fail… not just SOA projects. When you are trying to adopt a new technology, be it part of a SOA infrastructure project or not, lets face it, it just might fail.
I think one of the challenges people have is that they haven't taken a step back to really look at the big picture. What are the elements (e.g. technology) and the aspects (e.g. process) they are going to need to make their SOA implementation successful? One of the biggest things that people don't think about ahead of time is how they're going to deal with data. How are they going to manage the semantic alignment of the information (or data) that is flowing through their service-oriented architecture? How are they going to deal with the aspects of change.
We’ve been told that SOA provides an agile infrastructure that is able to accommodate change, but if the data infrastructure that is supporting that SOA isn't designed to accommodate change too, then the SOA project team is digging themselves a really big hole. And that, I'd say, may be the source of some of this fear.
SOA what? Never fear, semantic integration is here! Building SOA doesn’t need to be a frightening experience if you’ve taken the time to select the right SOA infrastructure tools and you’ve designed an architecture that is prepared for change – any change. Take time to think about the data, not just how it flows through your SOA, but how it is represented at each point within your SOA. Make sure that the data contained within each service or event that occurs is “common” to every other application and service it interacts with.
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