The High Road Recommends Itself

Anchor for this item  posted Friday, September 15, 2006 at 12:13 pm MST

Dig this: Reap What You SOA" (in Sun's September "Inner Circle" newsletter) - "The Gartner Group estimates that the cost of maintaining the integration points between systems absorbs 75 to 80 percent of all IT budgets" ... 75 - 80 percent!

"SOA leverages Web services. Web services are playing out to be the technology of choice for SOA because Web services are open. But the rationale for SOA comes down to the fact that developers shouldn't be writing middleware. Developers should be writing applications. All of the middleware machinery should be generated by products. Then applications run on SOA, mostly using Web services standards and products to create shared services that transport data and process transactions.

You don't just press a button and create an SOA. SOA is about the big A. You have to architect the system. And there are obstacles that will make it difficult to move to SOA, such as the organizational changes needed to ensure success. It's a journey, but the rewards — business agility, faster time to market, end-to-end security, reduced vendor lock-in, and cost reductions — make the going worth it.

One important idea is that SOA is more "wrap and reuse" than "rip and replace." It's a combination of building and buying, but the emphasis should be on taking existing systems and turning them into loosely coupled, business-grain services. After all, SOA is an architectural style for integration."

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