Greetings and happy New Year. We have left the century’s introductory decade behind us. The decade, as you may painfully remember, started with the popping of the dot-com bubble. This unfortunate financial event didn’t show us that Internet was the wrong place for investment, but did help us realize that business needs must always precede technology usage.
We, as a community, were still meditating on those findings when the promise of SOA erupted. The next few years we saw how that promise was coming to fruition — still understanding that even creative solutions sometimes come at the expense of some new dilemmas (governance, federated identity, etc.) Frederick Brooks Jr. would have reminded us again that there is "no silver bullet." I’m one of those who think that SOA has been a success; if not a complete success, it is certainly hard to believe that SOA is dead.
We were still busy planning our business services when the "service" concept reappeared in another form and with yet another acronym: SaaS. Software delivered as a service brought another turn to an ASP screw originally envisioned for application hosting only.
The SaaS challenge is twofold. For consumers, the challenge lays in how to deal with privacy and reliability. Providers, however, must determine how to tackle multi-tenancy in order to maximize infrastructure usage.
In the meantime, other trends emerged. Virtualization, for instance, emerged as a solution for compatibility and efficiency. In another example, green computing appeared — partially out of a necessity for energy cost reduction and partially to address additional regulations requiring lower CO2 footprint thresholds.
All these trends together molded into what may gradually become the paradigm in the 2010s: cloud computing. We have seen increasing numbers of platform vendors taking positions in this new arena.
Originally announced back in late 2008, Microsoft just released its own cloud offering called the Windows Azure Platform. However, is Microsoft now proposing to move all the IT portfolio to the cloud? Certainly not. Some lessons have been learned from the dot-com crash and our SOA experiences. Radical moves (particularly when we lose our business sense) don’t seem to be destined to succeed. Therefore, Microsoft’s approach combines software as a service with traditional, on-premise deployed applications and services.
What’s going to happen with all these during the 2010s? Let’s take a look what industry experts have to say.