They Did It Their Way: The SOA Path Less Taken

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Here are a couple of SOA implementation stories that prove SOA should be about doing things your way - or, more precisely, the way that best suits your company's business needs.


The first implementation is the SOA designed for the New York Mercantile Exchange - you know, the world's largest physical commodities future exchange? According to this blog post by Joe McKendrick, the New York Merchantile Exchange - or NYMEX, for short - built its SOA without using one Web service.


In a world that often collapses SOA with Web services, that's pretty unique. NYMEX needed its SOA to support massive messaging - more than 50,000 per second, in fact. That's enough to support 1.2 million contracts per day, according to the post, which references a recent SearchWebServices.com news article.


Given the messaging and real-time demands for NYMEX's SOA, it makes sense that the exchange opted to deploy SOA with Java Messaging Service (JMS) standards. According to the CTO of the company that helped implement NYMEX's SOA, Web service standards just couldn't meet the performance objectives for NYMEX - or most financial services firms engaging in front-office trading.


The second item doesn't specify the name of the company, so we'll just have to take the word of "Uncle Bob," aka Robert Martin, president and chief executive officer of Object Mentor, a consulting group that describes itself as "an advocate of object-oriented software technologies and cutting-edge Agile development methodologies." "Uncle Bob," by the way, is Martin's blogging nickname.


It's too bad Martin doesn't name the company, because it would make an intriguing case study. According to Martin's blog, the company implemented SOA without an ESB, a BPEL engine, message translators, routing services or registry. They did, however, use SOAP and created their systems from scratch.


His point, in his own words:

Decoupling your services is the issue. Once you have decoupled them, then all the wonderful tools might be useful in facilitating an SOA. On the other hand, if you have decoupled your services, you probably don't need all those wonderful tools.

One final item that's less odd, but still beyond the usual for SOA implementations: If you're interested in how SOA and Web 2.0 can work together, you might want to register for "The Internet's Largest Bookstore Mashes SOA and Web 2.0," an ebizQ Webinar scheduled for tomorrow, (Tuesday Oct. 23), at 2 p.m., ET.


Prakash Sinha, product manager for Cisco Systems, will discuss how you can leverage Web 2.0 technology with SOA. Since Cisco is the sponsor, it shouldn't surprise you to learn that the focus will be on network infrastructure, with part of the talk devoted to securing enterprise Web services and infrastructure scalability.