Moving the SOA Goalposts

SOA is about loosely coupled system integration.  

Sorry, I meant to say that SOA is about enabling loosely coupled business processes.  

On the other hand SOA is about reuse, except that its actually not about reuse.

Hang on a minute, SOA is like event driven architecture (EDA).   No, scratch that – SOA is different from EDA but it still manages to complement it.

On second thought, SOA has nothing to do with technology at all – SOA is about business transformation.   But lets not confuse SOA with Enterprise Architecture because its not.   Or is it?

Whatever SOA is, if you think you’ve implemented it, adopted it or deployed it, you’re wrong.  In fact you don’t even have a clue about what SOA is.   Just ask a consultant or an analyst firm – they will be quite happy to bill you tell you how wrong you are about SOA and why you haven’t properly implemented it / adopted it / deployed it / whatever.   


Comments (6)

  1. This is a good piece 😉 Ever thought of getting into the analyst business?

    In all seriousness, the goalposts are moving because that’s where the customers want them to be. They simply don’t want to buy EAI-redux. They don’t want more of what they have. They want innovation. And isn’t innovation all about improving the status quo?

    Our perspective on SOA has been EA centric for quite a while now (at least 3 years). It has been steadily moving away from a Web Services-centric vision since that time. And while not all customers or vendors share that vision, we believe Microsoft can profit a lot more from SOA as an EA concept than SOA as a Web Services concept.

    That was the point of our message. But read it directly from our research, not from the ZDNet source, and you’ll get that detail.

  2. Zubin Wadia says:

    I think the goalposts should be movable. Who are we to tell the customer how wide they should be? or even if they should be there? ;).

    The fastest way to get yourself into a bind is to get religious with a particular platform for SOA/BPM/ECM. That enforces goalposts in a myriad of styles upon the customer resulting in them wrapping themselves into a pretzel.

    Composites are the way to go. Work with what you need not with what you are given.

  3. John_Evdemon says:


    I think we are in full agreement on this.  I was just poking fun at the industry’s attempt to define, redefine and contradict itself regarding SOA.


  4. I’ve had my own perspective on this for a while- I think the popularity of the term comes the fact the IT is supposed to serve the business- something that was forgotten for a while.  That’s the "alignment" that most of the places where I do my consulting are looking for. In any case, I’ve been making my money telling people to say something that means something any time I hear the word SOA.

    Did you ever wonder what the backbone of SOA is?

  5. The December issue of the Harvard Business Review contains a compelling article on "Why You Shouldn’t

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