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.

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