It's turning out to be the debate of the ages. Are new monikers like Web 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 and SOA 2.0 really new generations of technology that are poised to shake the foundations of the digital world? Or are they just buzz words to get you to buy more stuff that you don't need?
Our guess is that they are a little bit of both. Clearly, Web services, mash-ups, wikis and the like will change the way people relate to one another, socially, commercially, you name it. But it's probably a stretch to argue that they are ushering in a new version of the old enterprise capable of plowing under everything that stands in its way.
When companies like Oracle release something like the new WebCenter Suite incorporating all of the Web 2.0 goodies we've been reading about, we have to wonder how much of it is cutting-edge technology and how much is blatant opportunism.
Then there was the little-noticed announcement that Boeing Corp. is shutting down its Connexion airborne wireless service because it could not provide reliable connectivity.
This should give some pause for those embarking on a Web 2.0 strategy, many of whom may not be thinking about whether wired and wireless networks are robust and redundant enough to provide continued access to mission-critical software.
But at least Web 2.0 does offer something in the way of new software and processes. You can't really say that for Enterprise 2.0, and you most definitely can't say that for SOA 2.0.
David Linthicum, writing for the Web 2.0 Journal, argues that since SOA is an architecture, not a piece of software, there is no such thing as SOA 2.0. The process of creating a new architectural concept is an ongoing one, so there is no way of telling whether you have achieved SOA to begin with, let alone the updated version.