Normally a company changing its name would not elicit much interest beyond all that marketing collateral that usually goes along with such events. But the fact that SOA Software this week changed its name to Akana speaks to a fundamental change in the way integration is being approach inside and outside of the enterprise.
Roberto Medrano, executive vice president of Akana, freely admits that one of the reasons that the company chose the name Akana is that unlike the company’s previous moniker, it’s not tied to any particular technology.
But the name change also speaks volumes about how much service-oriented architecture (SOA) technology based on SOAP-based Web services is being superseded by RESTful application programming interfaces (APIs).
Medrano says as a company that provides management software that spans multiple integration frameworks, Akana doesn’t want to get pigeonholed into being associated with only one approach to integration.
Of course, within IT organizations, there’s a lot of debate about the merits of SOA versus RESTful APIs. For the most part, SOA is still widely seen as being a more robust framework for integrating applications inside the enterprise. REST APIs are more commonly used to expose data to external applications. At the same time, however, REST APIs are being widely used to create a standard approach to making IT infrastructure programmable.
Of course, some argue that REST APIs and the emergence of micro services enabled by containers are simply extensions of the SOA philosophy. But like many IT terms that have gone before it, the term SOA itself has become so loaded with baggage that even its staunchest proponents apparently feel the need to redefine themselves in a way that might insure their continued relevancy.