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Sean Wheller
Aug 09 2004
Speaking on SOA
Monday, 09 August 2004
Open source, strategic sourcing and SOA (Service-Oriented Architecture), all three are the hottest topics of the time. Since writing the book 'SYSPRO on SOA' for SYSPRO, a leading vendor of enterprise resource planning software, I have had several speaking engagements. Probably the most important of these engagements has been speaking to SYSPRO customers, but the event that got the most coverage in the media is undoubtably the IDC/BMI-T "'SOA Forum".

While preparing my presentation for the "SOA Forum" I was going back over some notes, once again seeking a definition for SOA. In doing so, it struck me that if SOA is meant to be about business and not technology, then there seemed to be an aweful number of technical definitions out there.

Definitions with words like:

  • Architecture framework
  • Architectural style
  • Software solution
  • Service architecture
  • Collection of services
  • Underlying communications structure
  • Service-based, platform independant architecture

This got me thinking. Now that we have all those technical definitions, I wonder what a business definition for SOA would be? After a few attempts I finally settled on this one:

"A blue print methodology enabling better alignment of IT capabilities with the current business environment."

Some of the IDC/BMI-T analysts hosting the forum thought my presentation was "contentious". It must have been because of this definition, becuase other than this, my presentation did not contend any of the body of knowledge that is already out there on SOA. I noticed that none of them offered any better alternative for 'business' to understand.

Nevertheless I think the event was a success. 

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Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved.

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