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InfoQ Homepage News Interview: IBM SOA VP Sandy Carter

Interview: IBM SOA VP Sandy Carter

In this latest interview recorded at IBM's recent Impact conference, Sandy Carter, author of "SOA and Web 2.0", talks about SOA at the business/exec level: how to think about SOA, SOA vs. BPM, how to sell SOA to management, why SOA will be more long lived than EAI, and IBM's view that SOA adoption is now in the early majority phase.

Watch Sandy Carter SOA Adoption (22 min)

Sandy started off positioning the newness of SOA interms of business/it alighment, which seems to be the consensus among other SOA experts, in the past:
I think some of the newness revolves around the interconnection of Service Oriented Architecture to the business. For instance I could do integration before without really understanding the full view of my business process. Now with SOA I not only need to understand the process but I need to be able to do a portfolio analysis and determine what I want to save in my portfolio, what I want service enable, because legacy is such an important part of the value of SOA and one of the new services that I need to create... It's so much more of a direct link to the business that I think; as opposed to other projects that may have been very technology focused, SOA is very business focus
The business alignment factor is a reason that both Sandy and IBM Software Chief Steve Mills said that SOA is going to have multi-decade longevity.

On the relationship between SOA and BPM, Sandy said:
I think that BPM and SOA are two sides of the same coin. I don't think you can do BPM without leveraging SOA. Infact, Gartner, you can't even get to the higher levels of BPM (the maturity) without SOA. If you think about Service Oriented Architecture without a focus on process you can't be successful on SOA. The two are melded together and they allow or enable each other to accomplish their goal.
IBM's messaging around ESBs has also been somewhat confusing, Sandy clarified:
IBM started talking about patterns [of applying] ESB...As we moved past that early adopter stage and now to early majority we found and detected a set of patterns that we instantiated in the products. Websphere ESB is one and it bases on people who are all based on web services standard. We have Websphere Message Broker which we consider our advanced ESB. If you have a heterogeneous you mix with webservices standards and other standards that you leverage in your environment. Most people, for an ESB, are leveraging for mission critical SOA that Websphere Message Broker. Recently we have acquired a company called Data Power. Data Power is an appliance which is a hybrid - software and hardware you can't decouple the two. It's a box that you just plug in. that is now our third ESB and we announced at Impact Conference, it's a data power box called XI 50
Sandy also discussed takeaways from her book, "The New Language of Business: SOA and Web 2.0",  IBM's view of the 5 entrypoints companies typically take to start SOA, and the need for architects to change their skillsets to make SOA possible.

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