SOA Focus: Too Technical?

Loraine Lawson

A week doesn't pass by without one or two rants from columnists, bloggers or analysts about the overly technical focus of SOA proponents and SOA-oriented vendors. This week, for example, analyst Dana Gardner of Interarbor Solutions argues that SOA technology has little value unless it can solve a specific business problem.

 

One huge SOA proponent, IBM, is promising value in months from its SOA-oriented offerings, and it will do so by focusing on existing pain points, not the highly touted (and somewhat technical) benefits of agility, flexibility and reuse.

 

But SOA as a pure technology base has actually had a huge, if rarely mentioned, effect on business use of IT. SOA technology is at the foundation of Salesforce.com, NetSuite and RightNow. These three software-as-a-service providers ,who control 80 percent of the SaaS market, are arguably game-changers. In all fairness, however, they are young companies that never had to deal with the legacy issues faced by more established enterprises. Nonetheless, they are redrawing the map for major software categories like CRM.



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Dec 12, 2006 9:38 AM Tim Matthews Tim Matthews  says:
Technology vendors have been hearing for years the need to express the business benefits of fill-in-the-blank-latest technology.  And, unfortunately, by the time the technospeak gets upleveled, vetted and approved, it comes out as pablum.  SOA is just the latest victim.No doubt Salesforce and the SaaS crowd have it easier because they've started afresh.  But they could have done it will any number of new tools - PHP, Ruby, RSS and more.   But I do think more traditional enterprises will see the advantages. Here's one good example CIOs will appreciate.I was speaking to the CIO of a large insurance company.  He told me that Web Services gave him newfound control because he got to write the WSDLs.  So when he was putting together a new underwriting system that required integration of five vendor applications, he turned the tables on the vendors by saying he was not going to write to their APIs; rather, they were going to write to his - his WSDL.So here's one business benefit of SOA for CIOs - vendor leverage.  And you know what, any vendor that does a good job supporting Web Services won't mind, because (for us technologists) Web Services makes us more, what's the word...oh yes, agile.  Reply

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