In March, I compared SOA to Abe Vigoda - rumored to be dead, but very much alive. This month, I'm thinking SOA is more like Rodney Dangerfield: Despite its success, SOA "don't get no respect."
SOA does well in surveys. Just this spring, a survey by Forrester Research found that seven out of 10 enterprises are working on SOA or plan to pursue it, and 77 percent of this group said they were satisfied with their SOA efforts.
Then again, only 31 percent said it had delivered most or all of the expected benefits.
Part of the problem seems to be that many organizations just don't "get" SOA. It was never supposed to be building services for single projects, but rather building services that could be reused. It was never supposed to be for one application, but rather an approach for your entire architecture.
Forget that and you can forget achieving its promised strategic goals. And yet, that's what has happened, according to Awel Dico, Ph.D., enterprise architect for the Bank of Montreal, and one of the leading authors of the recently released free guide, "Using TOGAF to Define and Govern Service-Oriented Architectures."
Dico told ZDNet's Joe McKendrick that this project approach makes it difficult to "justify the investment in service infrastructure ... As a result they fall back to their tactical implementation which cannot be reused by other projects down the road."
Cloud computing companies are another group that don't "get" SOA, according to SOA expert and CTO of Blue Mountain Labs, David Linthicum. That's surprising to me, since their cloud cousin, SaaS, relies entirely on services, if not SOA. Like Linthicum says, cloud computing and SOA seem like a natural fit.
But no, and because of that, they're missing out on an opportunity to provide better solutions, Linthicum writes in this TechTarget column:
SOA has the ability to abstract cloud services into processes and composites, and turn those processes and composites into business solutions. The reality is that most cloud providers out there have no clue as to the value of SOA to their core business. Rather than capture that value, they move along the path toward the cloud by selling infrastructure rather than solutions.
The rest of his post is devoted to offering three tips on how cloud computing companies can leverage SOA.
By the way, to understand how data integration relates to SOA and vice versa, check out Linthicum's March post on Pervasive's blog, "SOA Comeback is Driven by Data Integration." It'll help you see why SOA deserves a bit of respect for supporting simpler integration.