SOA 2. huh?
Just when we'd started to figure out SOA, along comes SOA 2.0. Analysts at Gartner Research are using the
latest industry buzzword to differentiate between what it calls ''traditional''
service-oriented architectures, which rely on the client-serve model and direct
calls from one piece of software to another, and an event-driven type of SOA that is much
more closely tied to business components with alerts and notifications. Think
order processing systems, hospital admissions processes, and bank transactions.
Oracle Corporation is embracing the new moniker in a big bear hug and rubbing
it up against its Fusion middleware products. ''SOA 2.0 is the term that we're
using to talk about the combination of service-oriented architecture and
event-driven architecture,'' Steve Harris, vice president of Oracle Fusion
middleware, said at the recent JavaOne developer show.
But analyst Neil Ward-Dutton (one of the two Neils at UK-based Macehiter Ward-Dutton) isn't feeling so
chummy about the term. In his May 24
blog he writes: ''I'm so angry about it I can't work out where to
start!'' Macehiter wonders what the emergence of an SOA 2.0 designation might
mean to the work of the OASIS
SOA technical committee, which is currently
developing a reference
model for SOA.
The purpose of the OASIS project, according to that standards org, is ''to
address SOA being used as a term in an increasing number of contexts and
specific technology implementations. Sometimes, the term is used with differing
- or worse, conflicting - understandings of implicit terminology and components.
This Reference Model is being developed to encourage the continued growth of
different and specialized SOA implementations whilst preserving a common layer
of understanding about what SOA is.''
Mark Little, director of standards and development manager for the
Transactions and ESB projects for JBoss, positively fumes in his May 22
blog: ''[I]f you're an analyst firm looking to stand out from the crowd I
can understand throwing a lot of new buzzwords at a wall and seeing which ones
stick! But for the rest of us living in the real world, it has no meaning at
all. Despite all the hype, I think we're all agreed on what SOA means: it's an
architectural approach to building loosely coupled applications. Companies have
been 'doing SOA' for many years, even before the term was coined, using
technologies as diverse as CORBA and JMS. Think of it as a pattern, or an
architectural approach in the same was as distributed object-oriented systems.
It has its place in any good architect's toolbelt and we're finally coming to
grips with it as an industry.''
Little points out that the notion of ''SOA 2.0'' borders on the
dangerously confusing, because it mixes up architecture with implementation
It remains to be seen how useful giving an architectural
approach a version number will be. For the moment, I have to agree that it seems, well, a little nuts. As
both Ward-Dutton and Little put it, WTF?