Not long ago, I read an Intelligent Enterprise column promising that SOA would soon be offered as a service. I was skeptical, so I arranged a Q&A -- published today -- with author and analyst Brad Shimmin.
The timing couldn't be more perfect, because today, Salesforce.com announced it will offer SOA as a service.
News.com reports that the new service -- called Salesforce SOA -- is an extension of the company's Apex programming language, which already empowers developers to integrate data applications.
The News.com article reads as if Salesforce SOA will perform the integration between programs on the server, allowing for more "sophisticated" mashups. In that case, it makes good on another hot topic: integration virtualization.
I've blogged about the issues with SOA and virtualization recently. But what about managing data in this increasingly virtual environment?
Last week, Cutter Consortium wrote about just this issue. Analyst Ken Orr outlined the problems large companies face in managing data. He doesn't specifically address virtualization, but he does suggest a solution that might help with virtualization: the data architect. Obviously, data architect isn't a new job description. But it is quickly becoming more important, Orr writes:
... data architecture has become such a critical issue that it is now a top management concern, and as a consequence, the function is being pushed toward to the top of the org chart. Data is the lifeblood of the electronic real-time enterprise, and data management is the name of the game.With Salesforce.com entering the virtual integration market, you can bet this will become more mainstream. This might be a good time to reevaluate your governance policies for data integration.