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Wednesday, May 24, 2006 by MWD Editor
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!