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InfoQ Article: SOA anti-patterns


SOA Expert Steve Jones from CapGemini provides a hands on look at SOA Antipatterns and a list of ways your SOA project can go wrong. This list includes signs that these problems are cropping up as well as what to do when you see them happening.

Read SOA anti-patterns

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Community comments

  • Great Job

    by Jason Lenhart,

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    Steve, Miko, Dan - This is a great post, as I have lived many of the antipatterns. Thank you for sharing. Any plans for a book - hint, hint, hint....

  • Motivations

    by Frank Cohen,

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    This is much more than I was expecting when I clicked the link! Very good list.

    It took me a while to understand SOA, governance, and the policy tools to create a SOA-based application. Here's what I think motivation developers and managers to move to SOA:

    CIOs are driven by fear. They can't control the technology in their datacenter and they are responsible for their information systems. In the closing Gartner keynote this week the audience survey surprised Gartner by revealing the extent to which AJAX is already in production. The CIOs didn't bring-in AJAX - it was the developers. So the CIO's are in a lose-lose situation. Anything that gives them the appearance of being in control wins. "Governance" is the code word for control.

    Software developers and architects are driven by greed and fear. They desire to make decisions that save them time and effort to build and maintain systems. They fear choosing anything that will make them personally look bad.

    It seems to me that these motivations are behind a lot of the antipatterns in this article.


  • Re: Motivations

    by Phil Ayres,

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    I agree with Frank.

    (1) Great blog.

    (2) CIOs are driven by fear. Though less about control and more about really not understanding both the technology and the business equally well. I have seen this unfortunately in a previous life in 'sales support' where a CIO would sit and look very interested, but you knew that he was going to pick IBM anyway because he didn't have a clue what you were talking about, either technically or how it related to the business.

    (3) Governance is a code word for control. And it should be pervasive through the business when it comes to the SOA, general IT, and the way any business leader runs his unit. Governance in business is often described as 'tone from the top'. So in IT, if your CIO is scared of tough decisions that is likely to trickle down to every one below him.

    The antipatterns in general seem to be something that could be applied to many IT projects, not just SOA. Making people aware of them is a good thing!


  • Re: Motivations

    by Phil Ayres,

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    Steve - just wanted to let you know that I have used your Percolating Process anti-pattern to help financial services project leads understand red-flags for their combined BPM/SOA issues. Take a look here if you want to see this in a different context.



  • Great article

    by Jack van Hoof,

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    Steve, thanks for sharing your great thoughts on this subject. The great thing about anti-pattens is that they are always concurrently applicable, while with best practices you may end up in mutual trade-offs. That's why I like anti-patterns: What should I do to NOT succeed.

    I think however that there is a flip-side on The Technology Altar anti-pattern. IMHO it could be an anti-pattern to always have technology follow business. I think new technology can create new business. Looking at history it is always technology that drives new business. First there was the train and then there was Dutch Railways. First there was the microprocessor and then Microsoft; not the way arround. So your anti-pattern is valid within the scope of existing business, but less within the scope of new business.

    Jack van Hoof

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