Tuesday 29 September 2009

An Architecture Manifesto

Way back in 2004 a good friend of mine, Alexis Richardson, decided to convene a summit of architects. The summary of the event is below:

The Architects Summit is a one off event challenging a group of pragmatic and active technologists to formulate, document and publish a consensus view on requirements and best practice for software application platforms and development tools.

I cannot remember now how many turned up but it was well attended and amongst the participant Chris Swan and Hugh Grant were there, Rod Johnson was there, Matthew Rawlings, John Davies, Cameron Purdy and many others.

I was asked to co-chair with Alexis, presumably because chairing seems to be my thing amongst a diverse set of individuals and opinion.

The net result was certainly a stimulating debate but no manifesto was ever issued because we could not get agreement. In part this was because the camps divided into classic enterprise architects and guru-status technical architects. And never the twain can agree.

However, given the fashion for manifesto’s here is my own personal one which was done at that time and to which I still pretty well subscribe to.

Tuesday 22 September 2009

The SOA Manifesto

I was recently invited to participate in the SOA Manifesto. It is huge honour and from the list of participants involved I would expect nothing less than a really focussed and helpful manifesto.

Manifesto's a a bit of craze these days. I noticed that there manifesto for cloud and for internet and so on. But oddly enough nothing for SOA.

As a participant I started to look into what is out there and I must admit I am really surprised at how little there is for SOA. Of course we have patterns and principles and even governance [1, 2] for SOA but as yet no one has written a manifesto personal or otherwise to share with the industry as a whole.

In arriving at some manifesto for SOA which will help focus people on the key aspects of what service-orientation means and what in means to have a service-oriented-architecture there are some key areas that need work.

First an foremost we need to ensure that executive sponsors across industries understand what it means to them. Inevitably they need to know what is the effect on the top line revenus and the bottom line costs. Equally they need to understand business model consideration in adopting a service-oriented approach. Whilst we would all like to offer thing free, offer it immediately and offer it so that it is perfect in every way we have to be realistic that software costs money, takes time and is rarely perfect. So ensuring that these apsects of the software development lifecycle (SDLC) are effectively articulated to business sponsors will help them make decisions.

Secondly we very much need to serve our own IT community. We need to arrive at some consensus that helps people understand what service-orientation really means, its guiding principles, and what consititutes a service-oriented-architecture. Now these may all seem obvious to some of you. But let me assure you that in my world I often have to deal with people who equate WS-* to SOA and equate ESB to SOA. Which of course is not the case. They may help and even constrain and SOA but they not make one.

So we have our work cut out. We also need to deal with the future and what that might entail and help to direct and give it impetus.

So watch this space. The manifesto is due out soon enough. And I for one am looking forward to it let alone having the honour of helping to fashion it.

Saturday 5 September 2009


JBoss Community Launches Savara Project.

I guess it has been coming for sometime given the blog entries from both myself and Mark Little. Finally we have launched Savara. It is an open source community project the aim of which is to deliver to the open source user community and other interested parties a set of tools for developing end to end service oriented solutions (in the first instance) and general distributed solutions (in the second). It will embody Testable Architecture but much more. The key aim is to develop not just tooling but also methodologies to support its use that will focus upon the testabilility of artefacts at different levels of refinement to ensure provable alignment or correctness.

We expect this initiative to change the way in which we gather requirements, fashion solutions and deliver them as well as manage changes over time. And we expect to move ever closer to our (unattainable aim) of deliver it now, deliver it free and deliver it correctly which will remain our mantra to keep us focused.

The vision is broad, the time scales potentially long but we do expect benefits to be provided early and on a continual basis.

I am sure with Gary Brown (Red Hat) and Bhavish Kumar (Cognizant) co-chairing the initiative we can expect great results.

Take a look when you can and get involved regardless of you affiliation.