It was hard not to laugh just a little bit when I read how a TV channel in the UK solved its integration problems. See if you can guess where the maniacal laugh started. (Hint: It’s in bold).
“Legacy systems were becoming brittle due to them being bent into a position that they weren’t designed for, thus increasing maintenance costs,” senior project manager James Curran told TechTarget. “Once the decision was taken to develop a new commercial system, our informed architects persuaded us to start adopting a service-orientated approach to system design.”
Are we really already back on service-oriented architecture? I’d say no, we’re not back on it. We’re still on it. The Open Group, among others, outlined an integration layer technical standard for SOA back in the day.
I’m not sure why it isn’t more widely used, though. In fact, Channel 4 had even thought about using the generally ill-advised point-to-point integration approach, but with web services. At some point, they realized that a service integration backbone would be more efficient. It uses web services, delivered via an ESB, in this case, MuleSoft.
So what’s new and different in this? Very little. In fact, what’s different is that there are new, even more pressing reasons to adopt an integration layer today, including:
- A need to allow business managers to handle some of the integration work. The inclusion of APIs as a way of deploying services supports this, and that is new.
- The hybrid cloud. Again, the inclusion of APIs makes it easy to switch from integrating internal sources to external, cloud integration.
The difference isn’t the SOA backbone, but the ability to call the services via APIs. The article touches on this issue, explaining that vendors and enterprises are building APIs to be more cooperative – more request and response. So, API management must be part of that integration layer, particularly if you’re operating in a hybrid cloud.
It’s not quite that simple, but you can read the full article for the caveats. It’s worth your time.
Of course, most of us knew that SOA hadn’t disappeared. Vendors used it for cloud integration, and SOA governance merged with API management awhile back. That’s probably why the article notes that this approach can bring governance to hybrid cloud.
Even so, it’s good to see all that time discussing SOA and integration wasn’t wasted.
Loraine Lawson is a veteran technology reporter and blogger. She currently writes the Integration blog for IT Business Edge, which covers all aspects of integration technology, including data governance and best practices. She has also covered IT/Business Alignment and IT Security for IT Business Edge. Before becoming a freelance writer, Lawson worked at TechRepublic as a site editor and writer, covering mobile, IT management, IT security and other technology trends. Previously, she was a webmaster at the Kentucky Transportation Cabinet and a newspaper journalist. Follow Lawson at Google+ and on Twitter.