Can SOA bring out Web services' potential?
At its public coming-out party alongside Microsoft's original .NET
pronouncement, Web services were talked of as a panacea for IT organizations
(still) looking for a cheap means of integrating dissimilar systems.
Key buzzwords, like ''standards,'' ''integration'' and ''easy-to-use,'' accompanied
the launch of the Web services phenomenon, prompting significant interest among
IT operations and, thus, their suppliers of development and integration tools
and technologies. Suddenly, we saw a slew of software suppliers promising tools
to build, manage and deploy Web services. Books, magazines and trade shows were
launched to explain the concept to IT development managers and engineers.
High-tech firms from giants IBM and Microsoft to the smallest start-up professed
support for the concept.
But now, as Jason Bloomberg points out in this month's
cover story, ''Principles of
, the Web services honeymoon is over. It's time for the
concept to deliver on its early promises. The pilot point-to-point integration
projects are well underway and, for the most part, working pretty well. The
standards issues are quickly resolving themselves and ample tools are emerging
for Web services security and management.
Now, says Bloomberg, an analyst with ZapThink LLC, it's time to start
creating broader Web services applications that extend further within and beyond
the enterprise. A move to such complex applications won't be a simple one, says
Bloomberg, as it requires the building of a new loosely coupled, standards-based
Services Oriented Architecture (SOA), a significant challenge for IT development
managers and teams.
In this story, Bloomberg explains the concept of SOA and how it differs from
traditional software architectural approaches. The high-level framework for what
Bloomberg calls the IT service-oriented architect can utilize Model-Driven
Architecture and Agile Modeling concepts and tools to create and maintain a SOA.
He also explains what's missing from the SOA concept today and how one can
expect these holes to be filled.
Our hope is that Bloomberg can help you to determine how best to spend
limited budgets during difficult times. To survive, organizations must continue
to move ahead even with limited funds if executives and the rest of us hope to
be ready to pounce when the good times return.
Meanwhile, regular contributor Colleen Frye takes a look
at the status of the beleaguered world of B2B marketplaces and exchanges in ''B2B comes back on a smaller
Frye points out that the early B2B failures prompted a scaling
back of the vision. Frye talks to some developers that have implemented
successful small-scale B2B systems, and examines some of the plans for the
Mike Bucken is former Editor-in-Chief of Application Development Trends magazine.