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The Top 10 SOA Myths Revisited

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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.

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