You’ve probably seen the chatter as a result of Anne’s recent post. So, the question on all SOA minds now turns to the fate of SOA: have we seen SOA’s last act or will there be an encore? With the economic downturn and companies increasing their focus on near term results, we’re a bit surprised over the fervor.  A perfectly logical response might have been “Yeah, and?”  

 

This debate will continue, that’s for certain. There are folks on either side of the fence who are passionate about this topic, and more than a few vendors have tied their revenue to it in a material way.  Read some of the responses thru that lens – opinions on SOA being dead, or alive and well, seem to reflect economic passion more than anything else.  

 

The ‘SO’ of SOA has been around for over a decade.  It started in the form of Web Services back in the late 90s; companies were looking to find efficiencies between systems to do things like employee on-boarding.  Soon after, the light bulb went on, and oragnizations extended this federation beyond internal systems to foster better integration with partners and customer. Federation will continue as customers turn smart decisions into technical reality through service orientation in a blended world of computing (premises and in the cloud–Something we’ve been discussing and investing in for quite some time now).

 

If SOA fostered all the fantastic innovation above, why are companies struggling with it and abandoning their SOA projects? Let’s be clear: many SOA projects have been successful and will continue, specifically the ones born from a middle out, project approach and based on business value. Customers like M.D. Anderson Cancer Center and Vail Resorts are great examples. However, oftentimes there has been too much focus on the “A” in SOA instead of the “SO.” The bottom line: projects that have been monolithic undertakings are the ones that never made it out of the lab, and are probably being discontinued today.

 

We’ve been out on the road talking to customers as part of the SOA Roadshows discussing this topic, and we have a lot more to say on this topic, so look for more soon from the Microsoft SOA & Business Process Conference happening later this month. In the mean time, enjoy the show…