BT

The Top 10 SOA Myths Revisited

| by Boris Lublinsky Follow 1 Followers on Nov 11, 2009. Estimated reading time: 3 minutes |

 

In his recent post "Gartner: 10 reasons why both sides of the SOA debate have it wrong", Joe McKendrick mentions top 10 SOA myths presented during Webcast keynote with Gartner’s Yefim Natis at the ebizQ "SOA in Action" event. According to Yefim, both SOA "fanatics" as well as "naysayers" have created Myths around SOA. Fanatic’s top five SOA misconceptions are:

 

  1. Services were invented in the IT department and are spreading out to the business. This assumes that SOA architects and designers are reinventing the business through introduction of new SOA solutions. According to Yefim, SOA is not about restructuring the business, but rather about improving the
    ... ability of software designers and software architects to model the real world better. Software is not bringing the solution to the business, its better understanding the business.
  2. SOA applications are assembled from pre-built components. Yefim notes that:
    Although service oriented systems indeed include encapsulated components, or services, they also include clients, batch components which are not service oriented, and include legacy systems that need to be connected to.
  3. Sharing or reusing application logic is the main benefit of SOA. Despite the fact that many SOA proponents are trying to sell SOA as a reuse Holy Grail, Yefim looks at this differently:
    ... reuse is not the primary benefit, although it is one of the benefits of service oriented architecture. There are many other things, such a making your internal architecture more manageable, having greater extensibility, and applications that function a lot better when they are service oriented.
  4. SOA eliminates the need for application integration. Yefim argues that no matter how effective SOA infrastructure is, there is still going to be a need for enterprise application integration. What SOA does do is
    ... introduce a consistency to the architecture, as well as tools and standards that help application integration.
  5. SOA reduces the cost of IT. In Yefim’s opinion, SOA may help reduce IT costs in the long run, but early on
    ... ainvestment in SOA costs in fact costs more... Not because SOA is more complex, but just because when you do something new, you have to understand new approach, you have to train people, you have to buy new tools - and that all is costs.

The top five naysayer’s myths about SOA are:

 

  1. SOA introduces new complications and new problems. Yefim notes that:
    ... most issues that have to do with deploying and establishing service-oriented systems are not issues of SOA; they’re issues of distributed computing, or of modern grid based computing networks..
  2. SOA is nothing new, it’s hype, its taking old wine and trying to sell it in a new bottle. According to Yefim, when thinking about SOA one should think beyond technology (for example RPC) ::
    SOA is intended to address a business topology of the business functionality of the application, whereas RPCs were intended to simply distribute an application.
  3. SOA is doomed because Web services don’t work well enough. In Yefim’s opinion, the view that SOA is entirely based on SOAP is one of the biggest SOA misconceptions:
    There’s nothing in common between the two, yet people confuse SOA with SOAP. SOA is not about Web services - Web services is one of the ways of establishing connectivity between the clients and the services of SOA.
  4. SOA is hard to sell because the business can’t see the benefits. It depends on the level of SOA, explains Yefim. As more companies move into advanced SOA, business benefits will become more apparent:
    Event-driven SOA has very important components to it that allow direct benefits, clear benefits to business operations, to any business that wants to gain control over its overall IT information environment or wants to build situation awareness.
  5. SOA is obsolete, and it’s time to move on. According to Yefim, SOA is losing its attractiveness to analysts"
    There’s no intrigue anymore in basic SOA. We know how to do it, it’s not talked about as much as before [but] what are you going to move on to? The only alternatives you’re going to find to SOA are going to be advanced forms of SOA.

One might disagree with Yefim’s explanations, but he certainly does capture well some SOA misconceptions.

Rate this Article

Adoption Stage
Style

Hello stranger!

You need to Register an InfoQ account or or login to post comments. But there's so much more behind being registered.

Get the most out of the InfoQ experience.

Tell us what you think

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

he certainly does NOT capture well some SOA misconceptions by Francisco Jose Peredo Noguez


Services were invented in the IT department and are spreading out to the business: This assumes that SOA architects and designers are reinventing the business through introduction of new SOA solutions. According to Yefim, SOA is not about restructuring the business, but rather about improving the ability of software designers and software architects to model the real world better. Software is not bringing the solution to the business, its better understanding the business.

Software might be understanding the business better, but that does not mean that services were not invented in the IT department, they WERE invented by the IT department to understand the business better.


Sharing or reusing application logic is the main benefit of SOA. Despite the fact that many SOA proponents are trying to sell SOA as a reuse Holy Grail, Yefim looks at this differently: reuse is not the primary benefit, although it is one of the benefits of service oriented architecture. There are many other things, such a making your internal architecture more manageable, having greater extensibility, and applications that function a lot better when they are service oriented.

This sounds like Marketecture: Please tell me how (concretely) does SOA make architecture more manageable, and extensible without reuse? and... how does it make applications work better ? in what concrete non reuse related way? And please use concrete examples.


# SOA introduces new complications and new problems. Yefim notes that: most issues that have to do with deploying and establishing service-oriented systems are not issues of SOA; they’re issues of distributed computing, or of modern grid based computing networks..


And why issues of distributed computing, or of modern grid based computing do not qualify as "new complications and new problems"?


# SOA is nothing new, it’s hype, its taking old wine and trying to sell it in a new bottle. According to Yefim, when thinking about SOA one should think beyond technology (for example RPC) ::SOA is intended to address a business topology of the business functionality of the application, whereas RPCs were intended to simply distribute an application.


Mmmm, I do not see how does that prove that SOA is not like taking old wine and trying to sell it in a new bottle?


# SOA is doomed because Web services don’t work well enough. In Yefim’s opinion, the view that SOA is entirely based on SOAP is one of the biggest SOA misconceptions:There’s nothing in common between the two, yet people confuse SOA with SOAP. SOA is not about Web services - Web services is one of the ways of establishing connectivity between the clients and the services of SOA.


And the ways others are? (Please use concrete examples please, preferably with links that show those other ways to do SOA are being presented as SOA by anyone but you)


# SOA is hard to sell because the business can’t see the benefits. It depends on the level of SOA, explains Yefim. As more companies move into advanced SOA, business benefits will become more apparent:Event-driven SOA has very important components to it that allow direct benefits, clear benefits to business operations, to any business that wants to gain control over its overall IT information environment or wants to build situation awareness.


So basically, unless you are using Event-driven SOA, it is true that the business can’t see the benefits? That sounds like a marketing trap: You, pay and you pay, trying to reach the "Soa event driven level" and when you reach it it turns out that the level with real is "Soa foo bar level" and when you reach that it turns out...


# SOA is obsolete, and it’s time to move on. According to Yefim, SOA is losing its attractiveness to analysts" There’s no intrigue anymore in basic SOA. We know how to do it, it’s not talked about as much as before [but] what are you going to move on to? The only alternatives you’re going to find to SOA are going to be advanced forms of SOA.


Resistance is futile! excellent fallacy! but really: how does that prove that SOA is not obsolete?

Re: he certainly does NOT capture well some SOA misconceptions by zubin kavarana

1. Please tell me how (concretely) does SOA make architecture more manageable, and extensible without reuse? and... how does it make applications work better ?

SOA is an architectural style that enables one to better align the functional architecture of their software to the real business. Just like OOPS languages allow you to design systems modeled on real world entities (classes, objects), SOA allows you to model your system using business entities (Post Cash Deposit Service, Cancel Shipping Order Service). Re-usability is the real Marketecture since you may be convincing business to adopt SOA with no clear definition of its short term benefits. How much more reusable have the components in your application become since you adopted SOA as compared to your OOPS application written in Java or C#?

2. SOA is doomed because Web services don’t work well enough.. And the ways others are?

You have to pass messages to services (loose coupling), but SOA does not rule how. You can use JMS, TCP/HTTP (the enterprise application I work on uses these), even objects passed over RPC.

Is this the Gartner's position or a personal opinion of Yefim? by Michael Poulin

IMHO,
1. "SOA is not about restructuring the business, but rather about improving" business understanding about its own organisation and its own ability to adopt changes in the most effective way

2. "... service oriented systems... include clients, batch components which are not service oriented, and include legacy systems that need to be connected to". It is unclear what would mean 'service oriented systems... include clients'. Also, there is a notion of service resources and the legacy systems play the role of resources very well. I do not see any problems in batch components being a part of a service (certainly, without a Web Service interface)

3. I agree with Yefim but would articulated whet the main benefit of SOA is [M.P. - business flexibility]

4. I agree with Yefim

5. I would said that proper usage of SOA in Business were led to the reduced cost of IT

And again,
1. I think that "most issues that have to do with deploying and establishing service-oriented systems are" in operational Business misunderstanding of what IT is doing

2. SOA is nothing new indeed, at the top of the business hierarchy business was and is service oriented from the beginning. IT tries to automate some of business operations and, actually, re-invent services into the business operational environment. I think that if this process would go top-down, there were much less 'blood' and emotions.

3. I am glad that Yefim has said this simple thing about SOa and Web Services

4. SOA should be sold to business via business values instead of IT automation capabilities

5. I still think majority of IT still does not know how to 'do SOA'. I would recommend to look at the OASIS Reference Architecture Foundation for SOA - the second public review draft (see it at the Home page of OASIS).
I'm very much with Yefim on "The only alternatives you’re going to find to SOA are going to be advanced forms of SOA", and you will find it in Business rather than in IT.

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

Allowed html: a,b,br,blockquote,i,li,pre,u,ul,p

Email me replies to any of my messages in this thread

3 Discuss
BT