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Burton On Real World SOA Experiences

| by Mark Little Follow 4 Followers on Feb 27, 2008. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |
Chris Haddad from Burton writes about their recent research in determining the success of SOA deployments in the real world:
[we are] currently conducting formal research to get a detailed and updated perspective of  SOA adoption. We're wondering if organizations establish realistic goals, identify and measure metrics, what return organizations are seeing, and how long it takes to realize those benefits. We also hope to identify any roadmap steps and trends that particularly lead to success, stalls, or breakdowns.
Chris mentions that their current assessments are based on previous conversations with SOA users. However, this updated effort will use Contextual Design, which they believe will bring greater insight and influence their future recommendations. Burton as therefore requesting participation from as wide a range of SOA adopters as possible:
We plan to interview representatives from several companies. All data will be kept anonymous, and we guarantee  privacy and confidentiality. Our goal is to compile the information we collect to identity trends and patterns - not to produce individual case studies. We will be happy to share an early view of the compiled results with participants. The research will serve as the basis for future reports ...
There have been a number of such studies in the past and it has been hard to know how accurate they have been. For instance, in 2006 Joe McKendrick reported that in 2005:
Yankee Group predicted that more than 70 percent of companies from many industries would be immersed in SOA by this time. AberdeenGroup says its more like 90 percent — the other week, the analyst firm issued a survey report that said at least 90 percent of companies are on their way to SOA — "nine of every 10 companies are adopting or have adopted service-oriented architectures and will exit 2006 with SOA planning, design, and programming experience." Evans Data also released survey results, but concludes that only 24 percent of companies have what they consider to be functioning SOAs — but this is almost double from a year ago.
None of them were entirely correct. Also in 2006 Forrester predicated that The Time For SOA Is Now:
Service-oriented architecture (SOA) adoption continues to be strong, especially for the largest enterprises. Satisfaction with SOA runs very high: Nearly 70% of SOA users say they will increase their use of SOA, and 46% of large enterprise users of SOA use it for strategic business transformation. The more disciplined firms are, and the more they do with IT — hence, the more complex their environments — the more likely they are to be early adopters of SOA. Web services adoption overlaps with SOA adoption, but a notable population of firms reports using one or the other but not both. Most importantly, enterprises are adopting SOA in roughly equal numbers regardless of their business climate or whether they have extra budget available to fund a move to SOA. The message is clear: It is time to dispense with excuses and begin your move to SOA.
Plus there are just as many "SOA Adoption Roadmaps": which ones (if any) do successful SOA deployments use?

Obviously the reports that result from the Burton effort will probably only be available to paying customers, so the majority of us will continue to live in blissful ignorance. But if you are thinking of contributing to, or already have contributed to, the Burton (or any similar) survey why not share your experiences here? If 2006 was not the year for SOA, is 2008? How successful have your SOA deployments been? Did you use any particular methodology to achieve success? Alternatively did the methodology get in the way? What do you perceive as the adoption rate for SOA?

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Heavy load SOA by Alex Panzin

Having been on an purely SOA project for 2 years now, I can say that SOA can be "pretty" and "well designed" at the same time. We have a production env up and running, no problems. Sustaining high throughput.
BUT! We are not using web services... Main reason we are able to sustain heavy load without downtime.
In my opinion and some testimonies from failed SOA projects, is that those buzzword based SOA designs are the ones that fail the most.
Truth is that SOA is not fast... it's slow, and better use appropriate technologies rather than buzzword ones.

And personally the biggest impact for our project was the correct selection of ESB product, everything else just plugs in like a charm....

Re: Heavy load SOA by Sean Buckley

If you take web services out of SOA, aren't you just left with a messaging infrastructure/architecture?

Where is SOA Success? by chris haddad

Hi Mark,

Burton Group will be sharing our findings in blog postings, external conference presentations, and free research reports. It is our intent to not leave IT "Blissfully unaware". We desire to educate professionals and infrastructure vendors about real world best practices, challenges, and success. To date, we have interviewed ten companies, and only two are making adequate progress at delivering 'business value'. Anne Thomas Manes has published a blog entry on the topic which is starting to generate a healthy discussion.

I look forward to talking with you, Red Hat customers, and infoQ readers about the 'business value' SOA is providing to the business.

Re: Where is SOA Success? by Mark Little

Hi Chris. Get in touch when you're ready and we can try to do a follow up news article.

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