Despite Being Recently Deceased, Can SOA Save the Economy?


Last fall, pundits questioned whether the recession would have a positive or negative impact on SOA.


This January, SOA was pronounced dead by the Burton Group. They even held a wake.


Now, pundits are pontificating whether SOA can save the economy.


You gotta love this industry.


I'm not 100 percent but, like Monk, I'm 95 percent positive Joe McKendrick started this line of thinking, with his "Shovel-ready SOA" post, in which he wrote:

"Perhaps we should look at service orienting as a shovel-ready 'stimulus' program for corporate growth. Because it works both ways - the current rough-and-tumble economy may be good for SOA, and SOA may be good for the economy."


He actually made a pretty convincing argument that SOA had a lot to offer businesses right now. Of particular interest to integration fans was his argument that by simplifying integration, SOA can help businesses collaborate and more effectively handle reorganizations or mergers.


Possibly it's a coincidence -- or possibly it's because McKendrick also works with ebizQ-but shortly after, ebizQ's managing editor Peter Schooff started a discussion on this very topic, asking forum participates "How Can SOA Save the Day?" It's worth a quick read, although there are no surprises here. You'll at least recognize a lot of the names who posted, including ZDNet's Phil Wainewright, Miko Matsumara, the vice president and deputy CTO for Software AG, and Ross Mason, CTO and Co-Founder of MuleSource.


Michael Poulin, a UK-based enterprise solutions architect and active participant on the Yahoo SOA newsgroup, also participated in the discussion, which apparently inspired him because this week, Poulin added to the discussion with a guest article on ebizQ, in which he interviews himself. It's a fun approach -- very Socratic. He makes a long case for how a service-oriented (SO) approach can help businesses during tough times, and, as long as businesses don't overreact by being too draconian with cuts, he doesn't believe SOA will be impacted by the economy.


Poulin has a strong opinion about SOA not being used for integration, so, unlike McKendrick, he did not site that as an advantage to SOA, instead noting:

"The strength of SO is not in an integration of legacy systems somewhere inside IT, but in the ability of services to independently change its collaborating partners, resources, compositions and creating new collaborations to address new changes. SO is the methodology that can direct business toward organizational and operational efficiency under the pressure of constantly changing requirements."


Meanwhile, while Poulin and McKendrick are addressing how SOA can help businesses, there are still those trying to save SOA, as demonstrated by this recent eWeek article on "Recession-proofing SOA."


As I said, you gotta love this industry. But you know what other industry I love? Pharmaceuticals. Can somebody please pass me an aspirin?