SOA is the Future

by Abhinna Shreshtha    Mar 02, 2009

All packaged software vendors are moving towards SOA and if your organization dithers, you could find yourself buying a mismatch of applications that do not work together, warns Yefim Natis, VP and Gartner distinguished analyst.

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a term that is seldom properly understood by IT heads. Gartner defines it as software that is modular, discoverable (i.e. can be used without looking at the implementation code), distributable, shareable, swappable (i.e. software can be swapped without changing applications), and heterogeneous-ready (i.e. should connect with other applications).
According to Natis, a mistake most enterprises and CIOs make is thinking SOA is synonymous with Web-based software. SOA creates a more agile business environment, however to get optimum benefit of SOA, Natis said SOA should be thought of as a business model, rather than a software.

When you design SOA, think of it as a business function. Keep the number of service layers low. Only the most needed functions should be exposed as services, advised Natis. He further advised CIOs and IT heads to design SOA applications topdpwn i.e. starting from business modeling.

According to Natis, there are a number of variations of SOA that have been developed recently, such as event-driven SOA and context-aware SOA. These variations have not yet become mainstream and are currently being used only by hi-tech IT organizations. The more basic forms of SOA are already being widely used by organizations globally, but if your organization wants to get the cutting edge over the competition, you must look into the more innovative forms that are not being used widely, Natis said.