David Linthicum, an expert in SOA and application integration, poises an interesting quandry this week in Virtualization: Are SOA and data integration technologies incompatible?
It seems like an odd question. I mean, isn't integration a key component of SOA's promise?
Linthicum is writing a book, and part of his research was to look at data integration tools. What he discovered is discouraging. Data integration provides up-to-the-minute information, much of which can be weeks or months old. Not only that, but the data processing tools are themselves antiquated: Data marts are often updated through batch extraction and aggregation processes. Further, FTP is still the primary means of uploading data.
SOA, on the other hand, is designed to move in real-time, real fast.
Hence, the question: Can a tortoise marry a hare?
Linthicum delves into the characteristics of data integration tools versus SOA in detail. But ultimately, he seems to believe data integration tools just aren't suited for SOA coupling. Instead, he suggests SOA could become the tool for operational and aggregated data.
Of course, regular IT Business Edge readers won't be surprised by news that data integration poises problems for SOA -- or vice versa, depending on where you stand in the IT department. But we've also shared ideas for how this problem can be resolved. Here are two items you might want to read or revisit to shed more light on the SOA/data integration question: