SOA and the Name Game

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Will service-oriented architecture by any other name still be SOA?


Well, we assume so. But tech vendors may think they have a better chance of selling SOA to you if they call it something else.


A name change for SOA is one of 10 predictions made by ZDNet blogger Joe McKendrick during a recent presentation at SOA World East. Instead of SOA, McKendrick says, expect to start hearing more about event-driven architecture or Enterprise 2.0.


Maybe vendors hope to clear up some of the lingering confusion over SOA's definition. (Though maybe that'd be easier to do with a less nebulous term than Enterprise 2.0, which itself is a notoriously moving target -- albeit one whose momentum appears to be growing.)


The increased interest in Enterprise 2.0 is due in no small part to the efforts of vendors like IBM and Microsoft. Like it or not, vendors do play a key role in tech adoption.


No matter what you call it, the next wave of enterprise tech will likely center on enhanced integration and interaction -- and SOA will play a key part in that -- says Nexaweb CEO Coach Wei in a recent IT Business Edge interview. He advises:

Never lose sight of what Web 2.0 is fundamentally about: It's about integration and about interaction -- helping your employees interact better with data, with processes and with each other. There are quite a few things in the context of Web 2.0 that can help companies do this. For instance, a lot of companies are talking about SOA. The emerging set of products and services that we call mashups can make it easier to integrate and consume an SOA. So it's about making things simpler.

By the way, McKendrick's other nine SOA predictions make for some fascinating reading. Among them: SOA, software-as-a-service and open source will lead to a new class of application vendors that will follow the "Dell model" of assembling components to order rather than creating the components.