SOA didn't go away in 2010, but discussion of it did lessen and it certainly was overshadowed by cloud talk. Vendors shifted from SOA-enabling everything to cloud-washing, as David Linthicum likes to call it.
But in reality, SOA and cloud services (meaning, SaaS) were never far apart. The fact of the matter is, in many cases, services and service-oriented architectures created the foundation for cloud services, as the SOA faithful often observed. (Note: There's a somewhat different relationship between cloud computing and SOA, as Linthicum explained back in 2009.)
I think this year, we could see that connection between SOA and how it enables cloud services finally click with a broader audience-specifically, organizations that want to extend their internal services into the cloud, but aren't quite sure how.
Recently, I spoke with Dr. Chris Harding, who is, among other things, the Open Group's SOA Working Group forum director and the primary author of "The SOA Sourcebook." He shared a conversation with a leading supermarket chain in the UK, which had its SOA in place and all its in-store tools connected via an ESB. Now, the chain is looking at how it can use this as a foundation for moving into the cloud. If a grocer is thinking this way, you've got to believe other businesses are as well.
Harding believes this is the year we'll see more companies explore how they can do business in the cloud:
Here is an organization that is technologically sophisticated. It's taken the SOA and it's really used that, but it's really just getting into the cloud space. I think there are probably a lot of other organizations in that sort of state where they haven't yet really got into what cloud can do for them. So that's what I think we're going to see happening this year: Those organizations are going to start actually trying to use cloud and we'll see them find out what it takes to deploy services in the cloud environment.
Tomorrow, Jan. 18, you can learn more about this connection between SOA and cloud environments by attending a free CIO.com webcast, "Successful SOA and Cloud Integration Strategies." It's obviously very Oracle-centered-it's co-sponsored by Oracle, focuses on Oracle's solutions for cloud and SOA, and features Dave Shaffer, Oracle's vice president of product management for business integration, and Bruce Tierney, director of Oracle SOA Suite.
But it looks like it will it also take a broader look at SOA and the cloud. Stan Gibson, editor of Custom Solutions for IDG, says part of the discussion will cover best practices for building SOA for private and public cloud environments. The write-up also promises it will help you "understand how customers are transitioning to support cloud environments in their existing shared services infrastructures."
You'll want to pre-register. It begins at 1:00 pm EST/10:00 am PST.