Success Stories: 2008 Not a Total Wash for SOA

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Yesterday, I shared lessons we learned in 2008 about finding success with SOA. My thesis being that, while it was a rough year for SOA, you could learn from the mistakes of the past year and hopefully have better luck in 2009.

But there were actually a lot of SOA success stories in 2008, as Joe McKendrick nicely demonstrates in a three-part series, "Shining Examples of SOA in Action in 2008," on his SOA in Action blog.

True, some of these examples might not fit everyone's definition of a true SOA, but it's still a long list of examples of business problems the service-oriented approach helped solve. Since this blog focuses on integration-and with a nod to the arguments against SOA as a means to integration - I found these examples particularly interesting:

  • Dematic, a global logistics company, used SOA to speed up mergers and integrations by replacing its core IT architecture in 72 days with a platform built on SOA and Information Technology Infrastructure Library (ITIL). McKendrick mentions this success in part I of the series.
  • Also from the first installment: Lufthansa and United Airlines, which used SOA to modernize a legacy reservations system written in-I kid you not-Assembly.
  • In part II, McKendrick points out that Farm Credit Canada used SOA methodologies to restructure and eliminate application silos.
  • Finally, in part III, McKendrick notes that ease of integration is one of the reasons Fred Luddy, CEO of Service-now.com, opted to build his cloud-based, IT services management company on SOA.

And, despite the ongoing argument about SOA and integration, there have been numerous examples on this blog about how SOA-or something very near like it-can be used to simplify integration.


So, it seems 2008 has not been a total wash for SOA.