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SOA 2.0? Stop the madness

Wednesday, May 24, 2006 by

I just came across this (unattributed) quote:

Everyone is entitled to be stupid, but some abuse the privilege.


I think it sums up pretty well how I feel about the recent emergence of the term “SOA 2.0″.

I’m so angry about it I can’t work out where to start! Luckily JBoss standards and development honcho Mark Little has done a good job of nailing some of the key points from an architecture perspective, which helps (at least I know I’m not the only one thinking “WTF?”).

The two main current proponents appear to be Gartner and Oracle. So here’s a question for them both: how do they feel about the attempt to build industry consensus around SOA concepts by the standards body OASIS? The SOA Reference Model TC is notable because it contains not only self-serving vendors, but real implementers and users. And interestingly, the TC (and many other people who are doggedly pushing through the steaming piles of hype to deliver successful SOA implementations) defines SOA along the following lines:

A paradigm for organizing and using distributed capabilities that may be under the control of different ownership domains.

A framework for matching needs and capabilities.

A view of architecture focusing on “Services” as a mechanism to allows interactions between those with needs and capabilities.

Note that this says *nothing* about the technical implementation details. This is bang on. As Mark Little says, the idea of SOA 2.0 (among many other sins) fails because it mixes up architecture with implementation detail.

I’ll take it that both Gartner and Oracle’s marketing department think the SOA RM TC is a complete waste of time and space. I think that tells us all about how committed they are to customer success? And I wonder what Oracle’s salespeople will make of it all, when they try and convince customers (who are still getting to grips with SOA) that “SOA 2.0″ makes sense?

I had a conversation at the back end of last year with a seasoned IT industry analyst from another UK firm about why analysts do the job they do. I think there are two camps. One (ours) sincerely believes that analysts should be good stewards of the influence they have – educating, clarifying, abstracting, comparing, acting independently, being measured, etc. It’s about filtering out hype and trying to provide practical, independent advice and insight. The other is in this business to make money by whatever means possible. Often that means inventing, or perpetuating, ideas which have marginal value but which sound exciting (and thus tease out vendor marketing cash, and enterprise consulting cash).

If ever there was a blatant example of the product of this latter attitude to the IT industry analyst “profession” (I use that term *very* advisedly) SOA 2.0 is it.

One last point: I’m very tempted to create an online petition to “Stop the SOA 2.0 madness” – a webpage that anyone interested in preserving our collective sanity can sign. If you think this would be an interesting thing to do, add a comment here. If I get a few comments, I’ll create something and we’ll see if we can get some pressure building!

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34 Responses to SOA 2.0? Stop the madness

  1. Mark Little says:

    Create that petition!!

  2. Mark Little says:

    Create that petition!!

  3. Matt MacKenzie says:

    I second the motion! Stop the madness!

  4. Matt MacKenzie says:

    I second the motion! Stop the madness!

  5. PetrolHead says:

    +1

    And put my name on that petition.

    Dan Creswell (http://www.jroller.com/page/dancres)

  6. PetrolHead says:

    +1

    And put my name on that petition.

    Dan Creswell (http://www.jroller.com/page/dancres)

  7. Dale Vile says:

    Agree. Madness.

    If you create that petition, count on me to sign.

  8. Dale Vile says:

    Agree. Madness.

    If you create that petition, count on me to sign.

  9. James McGovern says:

    Not only create the petition but enlist the assistance of other industry analysts (folks from Redmonk) to help amplify it…

  10. James McGovern says:

    Not only create the petition but enlist the assistance of other industry analysts (folks from Redmonk) to help amplify it…

  11. brenda michelson says:

    Neil – I’m in. Count on my signature, and some links.

  12. brenda michelson says:

    Neil – I’m in. Count on my signature, and some links.

  13. Thomas Otter says:

    Count me in too. I find this 2.0 business tiresome. It is similar to the add dotcom to everything fetish in the late 1990′s.

  14. Thomas Otter says:

    Count me in too. I find this 2.0 business tiresome. It is similar to the add dotcom to everything fetish in the late 1990′s.

  15. Ari Tanninen says:

    Count me in, too!

    First it was Web 2.0, then SOA 2.0. What 2.0 is next?

    Has coining new terms suddenly become fashionable, or is it just me becoming more cynical?

  16. Ari Tanninen says:

    Count me in, too!

    First it was Web 2.0, then SOA 2.0. What 2.0 is next?

    Has coining new terms suddenly become fashionable, or is it just me becoming more cynical?

  17. Anonymous says:

    that quote at the top – I’ve seen it attributed to Stalin :)

  18. Anonymous says:

    that quote at the top – I’ve seen it attributed to Stalin :)

  19. Ed Dekker says:

    In response to Ari:
    How about Marketoid 2.0?
    The new way of bringing stuff to the market. Honest, true representation, no covered deficiencies.
    Wouldn’t that be worth the 2.0 mark?

  20. Ed Dekker says:

    In response to Ari:
    How about Marketoid 2.0?
    The new way of bringing stuff to the market. Honest, true representation, no covered deficiencies.
    Wouldn’t that be worth the 2.0 mark?

  21. Anonymous says:

    Not clear to me what’s wrong with SOA 2.0. Is it the name or is there something conceptually flawed? As far as I can tell SOA 2.0 is about extending the classic client/server SOA with support for asynchronous events (publish and subscribe etc.). Why is this bad?

  22. Anonymous says:

    Not clear to me what’s wrong with SOA 2.0. Is it the name or is there something conceptually flawed? As far as I can tell SOA 2.0 is about extending the classic client/server SOA with support for asynchronous events (publish and subscribe etc.). Why is this bad?

  23. Anonymous says:

    Not clear to me what’s wrong with SOA 2.0. Is it the name or is there something conceptually flawed? As far as I can tell SOA 2.0 is about extending the classic client/server SOA with support for asynchronous events (publish and subscribe etc.). Why is this bad?

  24. Neil Ward-Dutton says:

    Anonymous, take a look again at the post here – it explains everything about why the idea of SOA 2.0 is counterproductive, opportunistic and self-serving.

    Also see the 430+ names on the SOA 2.0 petition. There’s quite a lot of people who feel the same as me!

  25. Neil Ward-Dutton says:

    Anonymous, take a look again at the post here – it explains everything about why the idea of SOA 2.0 is counterproductive, opportunistic and self-serving.

    Also see the 430+ names on the SOA 2.0 petition. There’s quite a lot of people who feel the same as me!

  26. Neil Ward-Dutton says:

    Anonymous, take a look again at the post here – it explains everything about why the idea of SOA 2.0 is counterproductive, opportunistic and self-serving.

    Also see the 430+ names on the SOA 2.0 petition. There’s quite a lot of people who feel the same as me!

  27. Anonymous says:

    Nobody seems to disagree that events support is a logical extension to classic SOA, which is mostly based on a request/reply (not necessarily synchronous) style of implementing distributed applications.

    So the point is that SOA 2.0 is not a good way to indicate this extension. Right?

    Not arguing. Sorry if I look naive. Just trying to understand …

  28. Anonymous says:

    Nobody seems to disagree that events support is a logical extension to classic SOA, which is mostly based on a request/reply (not necessarily synchronous) style of implementing distributed applications.

    So the point is that SOA 2.0 is not a good way to indicate this extension. Right?

    Not arguing. Sorry if I look naive. Just trying to understand …

  29. Anonymous says:

    Nobody seems to disagree that events support is a logical extension to classic SOA, which is mostly based on a request/reply (not necessarily synchronous) style of implementing distributed applications.

    So the point is that SOA 2.0 is not a good way to indicate this extension. Right?

    Not arguing. Sorry if I look naive. Just trying to understand …

  30. Neil Ward-Dutton says:

    OK… it’s not just about the label, Anonymous, although that is deeply silly as – how can you version an architectural approach to IT?

    It’s also that, from my point of view and many other peoples’ points of view, “classic SOA” (as you put it) isn’t particular to *any* style of communication – the key words are “architecture” and “service”. SOA can be pursued using sync, async, RPC, messaging, publish-subscribe, whatever. There’s no reason why you couldn’t implement SOA using RSS, in my mind. So it doesn’t make sense, to me, to separate an event-based approach to communication from request-reply, and see these as different things.

    As I mentioned in the post I think a much better focus for thinking about SOA is to be found in the OASIS SOA Adoption Blueprints TC.

  31. Neil Ward-Dutton says:

    OK… it’s not just about the label, Anonymous, although that is deeply silly as – how can you version an architectural approach to IT?

    It’s also that, from my point of view and many other peoples’ points of view, “classic SOA” (as you put it) isn’t particular to *any* style of communication – the key words are “architecture” and “service”. SOA can be pursued using sync, async, RPC, messaging, publish-subscribe, whatever. There’s no reason why you couldn’t implement SOA using RSS, in my mind. So it doesn’t make sense, to me, to separate an event-based approach to communication from request-reply, and see these as different things.

    As I mentioned in the post I think a much better focus for thinking about SOA is to be found in the OASIS SOA Adoption Blueprints TC.

  32. Neil Ward-Dutton says:

    OK… it’s not just about the label, Anonymous, although that is deeply silly as – how can you version an architectural approach to IT?

    It’s also that, from my point of view and many other peoples’ points of view, “classic SOA” (as you put it) isn’t particular to *any* style of communication – the key words are “architecture” and “service”. SOA can be pursued using sync, async, RPC, messaging, publish-subscribe, whatever. There’s no reason why you couldn’t implement SOA using RSS, in my mind. So it doesn’t make sense, to me, to separate an event-based approach to communication from request-reply, and see these as different things.

    As I mentioned in the post I think a much better focus for thinking about SOA is to be found in the OASIS SOA Adoption Blueprints TC.

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