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The Zen of SOA 219

Posted by samzenpus
from the read-all-about-it dept.
Alex Roussekov writes "The book "Zen of SOA" by Tom Termini introduces an original view to the challenging world of SOA. He refers to the Zen philosophy as a "therapeutic device" helping SOA practitioners to get rid of prejudices and opinions in order to apply a clear mind-set based on real-life experiences and the application of technology knowledge. Each chapter of the book is prefaced by Zen Truism that the author suggests to "revisit, reflect on it longer, and see if you are able to establish a truth from the narrative, as well as from your own experiences." In fact, the book is about a SOA Blueprint outlining a methodology for building a successful SOA strategy. The target audience is C-level Executives, IT Managers and Enterprise Architects undertaking or intending to undertake adoption of SOA throughout their organizations. I strongly recommend the book to all SOA practitioners involved in implementation of SOA." Read below for the rest of Alexander's review.
The Zen of SOA
author Tom Termini
pages 112
publisher BlueDog Ltd (November 21, 2008)
rating 9/10
reviewer Alexander Roussekov
ISBN ISBN 978-0-615-24703-8
summary provides a clear methodology to guide SOA implementations


The author's vision is based on extensive experience in the SOA arena and he elegantly leads and prepares the reader for the introduction of his SOA Blueprint approach. I personally enjoyed reflecting on the Zen conundrums which stimulated me to focus and understand the content.

In Chapter 1 the author explains SOA as both Business and Technical Concept and the main challenges it tackles from different stakeholder perspectives. He also emphasizes some misconceptions and technology myths about Web Services and ESB which are key enablers but do not represent a holistic view of SOA.

Chapter 2 elaborates on using the SOA Best Practices as a critical success factor for maximizing an organization's potential and improving performance. The author recommends an Incremental Approach to the SOA Implementation. This is supported by a comprehensive Case Study with the US Federal Trade Commission client.

Chapter 3 gives a technology view of SOA. The author covers a number of SOA technology components, their capabilities and positioning within the SOA technology stack including Portal, ESB, Service Registry/Repository, Business Rules and Enterprise Search Engines.

In Chapter 4 — the concept of "Future-Proof" is defined by the author and his team as "architecting to be highly available, reliable, and easy to manage."
The future-proofing is an inherent quality factor with technological and cultural aspects which need to be achieved throughout the overall SOA Lifecycle. The author suggests that "a pilot, or proof-of-concept, presented in advance of implementation and deployment, can convincingly demonstrate the ability of the architecture to validate the business intent".

Chapter 5 presents the author's rationale for an incremental approach to SOA implementation. The main point is that the contemporary business dynamic creates a myriad of competitive pressures which impose significant risks, whereas an incremental approach shields the business from the SOA implementation demands and helps to accommodate the changes and utilize the benefits.

Chapter 6 "The SOA Blueprint" is the essence of the book. It is a "set of guidelines for the practical business deployment of services using SOA methods in a moderately sized, somewhat complex organization". The author has used the OASIS' reference models for SOA as a foundation framework. The Blueprint is also consistent with well defined and recognized methodologies such as TOGAF and Zachman. For example, the Blueprint artifacts fit well in the taxonomy of the Zachman Architectural Framework and they can be mapped to corresponding activities in the TOGAF ADM.

Chapter 7 provides practical guidance and recommendations related to the context of the SOA Blueprint. The author puts the focus on Standardization, Business Customer Perspective of Services, Risk Mitigation Strategy as well as technical aspects such as Data Integration, Service Orchestration, Security and Metadata.

Finally, Chapter 8 offers a checklist with a number of items required for the customization of the SOA Blueprint. The author provides both item definitions and procedural guidance.

Tom Termini shares deep expertise and knowledge gained by hard work on numerous SOA projects for government and private sector clients. His examples of real business value achieved can be traced in the case studies described in the book. Each case study is related to a particular SOA "koan" and comes with the description of the business context, approach, solution and the business benefits obtained as a result.

The Zen of SOA is a concise, readable and very well illustrated book which provides practical advice, guidance and immediate impetus for development of SOA Implementation Strategy, Vision, Roadmap.

You can purchase The Zen of SOA from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

*

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The Zen of SOA

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  • by Gizzmonic (412910) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:31PM (#26487313) Homepage Journal

    You are the first post. You can do it.

    • by zuzulo (136299) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:33PM (#26487343) Homepage

      SOA means Service Oriented Architecture if anyone other than me loses track of the acronym generation machine occasionally. ;-)

      • by Ethanol-fueled (1125189) * on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:35PM (#26487397) Homepage Journal
        Hmm, a book titled with a buzzword contains more useless buzzwords, jargon, and trite case studies. No wonder why the reviewer states that it's made for C-level officers and other PHB's.
      • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:48PM (#26487645) Journal
        Gosh it would have been nice if someone had defined SOA in the actual posting, and maybe put in a sentence or two on what it's all about. Just throw a bone to those of us not "in the know".

        I'm reminded of a former employee of where I work who used the most esoteric and abbreviated language possible, and then showed utter contempt towards those who asked him to clarify.
        • by The Moof (859402) on Friday January 16, 2009 @05:14PM (#26488173)
          My immediate thought of SOA was in the DNS context, shortly followed by confusion.
          • shortly followed by confusion.

            shortly followed by confusion? I think that's SFC not SOA... [/humor]

          • by spazdor (902907) on Friday January 16, 2009 @09:46PM (#26492273)

            SOA
            From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
            Jump to: navigation, search

            Soa or SOA can stand for:

                    * Safe operating area, conditions for a semiconductor to work reliably
                    * Service-Oriented Architecture, programming paradigm that separates functions into distinct units, or services which developers make accessible over a network in order that users can combine and reuse them in the production of business applications
                    * Secondary Organic Aerosol, a kind of atmospheric aerosols formed from reactions of organic compounds with oxidants.
                    * Semiconductor optical amplifier, an optical amplifier which use a semiconductor to provide the gain medium
                    * State of the art, the highest level of development
                    * Stimulus Onset Asynchrony, the time interval between the onset of a first stimulus and the onset of a second stimulus
                    * Super Output Area, a geographical unit in the United Kingdom used mainly for statistical analysis

            [edit] Society and Institutes

                    * School of the Americas, a US Army training facility subsequently officially known as the Western Hemisphere Institute for Security Cooperation
                    * School of the Arts, a common name for fine arts schools
                    * Society of Ancients, an international society based in the UK

            [edit] in Information Technology

                    * Search oriented architecture, the use of search engine technology as the main integration component in an information system
                    * Service-oriented architecture, a computer systems architectural style for creating and using business processes, packaged as services
                    * Start of Authority, a record type in the Domain Name System

            [edit] in accounting and business

                    * Sarbanes-Oxley Act, officially titled the Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act of 2002
                    * Society of Actuaries, one of the two main professional societies of actuaries in the United States
                    * Statement of Affairs, an enumeration of financial situation prepared typically by a company or individual considering insolvency or bankruptcy

            [edit] in entertainment

                    * Sons of Anarchy, a 2008 American television program
                    * The Lord of the Rings Online: Shadows of Angmar, a MMORPG set in Tolkien's Middle-earth.
                    * Siege of Avalon, a 2000 computer role-playing game
                    * Skies of Arcadia, a console game for the Sega Dreamcast and Nintendo Gamecube
                    * Baldur's Gate II: Shadows of Amn, a 2000 computer role-playing game
                    * Soldiers of Allah, an Islamic rap group
                    * State of Alert, a hardcore punk group
                    * Sons of Azrael, a death metal group

                    This disambiguation page lists articles associated with the same title. If an internal link led you here, you may wish to change the link to point directly to the intended article.

        • by Phantom of the Opera (1867) on Friday January 16, 2009 @05:43PM (#26488779) Homepage

          what's with this slapping zen on everything? What would the koan be : What is the spec before the meeting?

          The real zen would be :
            write simple, small things until the form is the function.
            test in reality and in imagination, until both are one.
            the SOA is the illusion. There is no SOA.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by Kent Recal (714863)

          defined SOA in the actual posting

          Service Oriented Architecture.
          It's a software development design pattern that makes suggestions on how data, logic and responsibilities could be arranged in a distributed system.

          and maybe put in a sentence or two on what it's all about

          The original and stated purpose of such acronyms is to give people a common vocabulary that makes it easier to talk about technology without dropping down to details every time. In reality SOA, like many of its relatives, has been immediately

      • by joeytmann (664434)
        I thought it was Start Of Authority.
      • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday January 16, 2009 @05:47PM (#26488883) Homepage

        Nope, I still don't know what it is.

      • by HTH NE1 (675604)

        SOA means Service Oriented Architecture

        So it's about Feng Shui?

        (Hint: a missing hyphen changes the whole meaning.)

      • But to those of who design/build hardware, SOA stands for "Safe Operating Area":

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Safe_operating_area [wikipedia.org]

      • ... this [acronymfinder.com]. At least that's how I've been interpreting it for years.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by mkiwi (585287)

        It is also mandatory in DNS records. (look at your zone files in /var/named)
        SOA = Start of Authority
        it's the zone for which your name server is authoritative. It's usually tied to one of your net blocks.

        Service Oriented Architecture is the correct answer here, though.

        All these buzzwords kill me.

      • by droopycom (470921)

        I think you mean to say "SOA stands for....".

        whether it "means" anything is still an open question i think...

    • by zulater (635326)
      Subaru of America
  • by Anonymous Coward

    Scientologists of America.

  • SOA (Score:5, Informative)

    by sl0ppy (454532) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:33PM (#26487341)

    SOA = Service Oriented Architecture, and is one of the big crazes in the tech world right now.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service-oriented_architecture [wikipedia.org]

    because the article didn't seem to help with that.

    • Re:SOA (Score:5, Insightful)

      by jandrese (485) <kensama@vt.edu> on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:36PM (#26487415) Homepage Journal

      In computing, service-oriented architecture (SOA) provides methods for systems development and integration where systems group functionality around business processes and package these as interoperable services. SOA also describes IT infrastructure which allows different applications to exchange data with one another as they participate in business processes. Service-orientation aims at a loose coupling of services with operating systems, programming languages and other technologies which underlie applications.[1] SOA separates functions into distinct units, or services[2], which developers make accessible over a network in order that users can combine and reuse them in the production of business applications.[3] These services communicate with each other by passing data from one service to another, or by coordinating an activity between two or more services. Many commentators[who?] see SOA concepts as built upon and evolving from older concepts of distributed computing[3][2] and modular programming.

      So it's a network with clients and servers on it?

      • Re:SOA (Score:4, Insightful)

        by ivan256 (17499) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:44PM (#26487547)

        It's a way to write procedural applications using Object Oriented languages, while still fooling yourself into thinking your system is Object Oriented.

        Cue the flames from the zealots.

        • by nlawalker (804108)

          SOA has nothing to do with what kind of programming paradigm is used.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ivan256 (17499)

            It certainly does. It forces you to use procedural programming, and tricks people into thinking they aren't because the service boundaries are sometimes separated by a network and cross platforms; thus "justifying" the lack of OO.

            Services provide and operate on data. The data itself is exchanged independent from the code/information needed to manipulate the data. This is exactly analogous to linking in a library to pass your data structures to. As opposed to the object oriented paradigm where the definition

            • Re: (Score:2, Offtopic)

              by rapiddescent (572442)

              rubbish - SOA is not just about technology - it is the ability to design business services that relate to the business objectives and processes of an organisation. Organisations that try to produce SOA by starting with technology are doomed to failure!

              The trick is to implement services into various layers ranging from business to technology fucuses so that maximum orchestration and thus allows reuse to occur.

              Some organisations use mainstream Enterprise Service Buses (ESB) that provide communication pro

              • sorry to post after my own post, but I just found the source - it was £60m, not £26 - I heard 26m on a gartner call last year! here is a link to tharticle in Computing Magazine [computing.co.uk]
            • by nlawalker (804108)

              I see your point. I was looking at it from a different perspective - object oriented "programming" vs "design." You are correct, a system of networked services cannot be perceived as object oriented. I was looking more at the implementation of each application.

              What would the benefit be of designing a network of services to function in an object oriented fashion? Providers and consumers trading data may have wildly different uses for it, making it pointless to define anything above and beyond a contract stri

            • It certainly does. It forces you to use procedural programming, and tricks people into thinking they aren't because the service boundaries are sometimes separated by a network and cross platforms; thus "justifying" the lack of OO.

              Services provide and operate on data. The data itself is exchanged independent from the code/information needed to manipulate the data. This is exactly analogous to linking in a library to pass your data structures to. As opposed to the object oriented paradigm where the definition of operations are encapsulated with the data.

              Unless you make your business components all stateless, and use a Value Object Pattern, which is considered OO.

      • Re:SOA (Score:4, Interesting)

        by morgan_greywolf (835522) on Friday January 16, 2009 @05:10PM (#26488091) Homepage Journal

        No. It's a loose coupling of different applications and such into services, and then coupling those services with business logic to produce a new application. Think middleware.

        • Re:SOA (Score:5, Insightful)

          by frank_adrian314159 (469671) on Friday January 16, 2009 @05:35PM (#26488617) Homepage

          Ah, so it's a way to sell more machines to run more infrastructure software (also sold) which companies think will increase their scalability, which they don't really need because most of them are never going to have the amount of business that would force them to scale, where simple client-server software would suffice while they're going down the tubes.

    • Still not understanding the "republicans" tag attached to this article. Is there another architecture that's better suited to democrats? What should libertarians and greens use?

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        Still not understanding the "republicans" tag attached to this article. Is there another architecture that's better suited to democrats? What should libertarians and greens use?

        I think people are just randomly tagging articles "democrats" or "republicans". Not sure that there is any rhyme or reason to which tag ends up on which article, other than just whichever tag was applied by more people.

        Wait a few more minutes and the tag will go away as it gets replaced by ones that actually mean something for the article.

    • SOA = Service Oriented Architecture, and is one of the big crazes in the tech world right now.

      Yup. Surprisingly, if you modularize your applications they'll work better, be more stable, and be more resusable. Don't know how we would have ever thought of that without an acronym.

      You can send me my $50,000 speaking fee to my assistant.

    • by c_jonescc (528041)
      No kidding.

      I wondered what SOA was a whopping 35 times as I RTFA'd.

      Damn.

      I was hoping it was:
      Sex Opportunities Abound

      But would have believed it was:
      Subterfuge-Only Acronym
      Stupid Obtuse Abbreviation
      Slashdot Offers Aggravation
    • Re:SOA (Score:4, Funny)

      by vanyel (28049) * on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:57PM (#26487815) Journal

      I was wondering why there was a whole book on the Start Of Authority DNS record...

    • by sjames (1099)

      So it synergistically maximizes the minima in a buzzword compliant manner? Does it involve team building?

    • I thought it was Start of Authority. [rscott.org]

  • by smallfries (601545) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:33PM (#26487359) Homepage

    If there is an acronym that you are going to use throughout your review, and it will be senseless without THEN DEFINE IT SOMEWHERE AT THE TOP!

    • Standardization...
      Business Customer Perspective of Services...
      Risk Mitigation Strategy...
      Data Integration...
      Service Orchestration...
      Security and Metadata...BINGO!!!

    • by root_42 (103434)

      Good point. I was trying to figure out what Structure Of Arrays has to do with management... :-D

    • by ErkDemon (1202789)
      I'm intrigued by this idea of a "sea-level executive". Is that a senior exec whose perfomance is so bad that the shareholders have thrown him into the sea, with a block of concrete chained to his ankles so that his nostrils are just above the water, so they can watch as the tide comes in?
    • by lanner (107308)

      I can't mod this up any more. Dear subbie: Don't me a dummy. Only jerks/fools use acronyms without explaining what they are.

  • by Midnight Thunder (17205) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:35PM (#26487375) Homepage Journal

    One question that recently cropped up is whether SOA makes any sense if you are only connecting with a single data provider? The idea being that the architectural and maintenance costs don't make sense in this scenario since there is just too much over heard. Once you have a requirement connecting to multiple data providers then the effort pays out. Just curious to hear what /.ers have to say.

    • by idontgno (624372) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:59PM (#26487883) Journal

      One question that recently cropped up is whether SOA makes any sense if you are only connecting with a single data provider?

      You have a single data provider now. Will you rewrite the program from scratch when you add another? Will you "rework" it to accommodate the second? Or will you man up and design the thing from scratch as extensible and reusable?

      This is the same architectural argument that's cropped up in the discipline since assembler v. compiler.

      Hell, farther back than that. Eli Whitney's great innovation, not always recalled, was interchangeable components in firearms. Before that, every weapon was crafted from muzzle to buttplate as one unique system. But try to find an off-the-shelf replacement for the frizzen. Sorry, no can do.

      But Whitney's flintlocks? Drop a big pile of mixed components on the table. I guarantee that as long as there's one of each part in the pile, you will be able to assemble a working rifle. Need a carbine? We'll make up a shorter barrel which is still compatible with the receiver and the stock. Converting to percussion cap? No problem, the entire lock mechanism is an engineered replaceable unit.

      That's what SOA aims at: interchangeable components in systems. You're not crafting one big program, or complex of programs, from end-to-end, making it up as you go. You're building uniformly-structured and interchangeable components, and assembling them.

      Yeah, it's cheaper to build stovepipe. It's just more expensive to use, maintain, and replace.

      The folks who argue against these enterprise architecture innovations are the gunsmiths late 18th Century: each thing they turn out is a work of mastercraft, unique and tightly coupled, but entirely constrained by the human limitations on their ability, vision, and skill. But a rifle buyer isn't buying a work of art; he is buying a functional artifact, and if it can be engineered to function better (or differently, if the need arises) by no longer treating gunsmithy as a craft and more as an engineering discipline, so much the better. The artiste gunsmith may be offended. But too bad.

      • by hypnotik (11190) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:28PM (#26489733) Homepage

        That's what SOA aims at: interchangeable components in systems. You're not crafting one big program, or complex of programs, from end-to-end, making it up as you go. You're building uniformly-structured and interchangeable components, and assembling them.

        You mean... like Unix?

        • by owlstead (636356)

          Yes, although this is more about services interacting with each other, something that Unix is not too good on (named pipes only go so far). Unix (or at least the scripting part of it) is more like command line tools working together, mostly on the same box. SOA's are more indifferent on where the services are run.

      • That's what SOA aims at: interchangeable components in systems. You're not crafting one big program, or complex of programs, from end-to-end, making it up as you go. You're building uniformly-structured and interchangeable components, and assembling them.

        Yeah, in the programming world we call these things "libraries". People have been preaching componentized programming for decades. Reuse code. Use libraries. Don't reinvent the wheel. Easy, right? Nope. The problem is that most people don't have the skill t

    • I'm not sure that the number of data providers is necessarily that much of an indicator of the benefits of SOA. The are many ways to skin the SOA cat, but the overarching theme is the componentization of business processes into services and the orchestration between them. It is a significant shift in how the enterprise functions. For sure, small organizations will see little, if any, cost savings in moving toward SOA. However, medium and larger organizations, that find value in the reuse of components v
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by rapiddescent (572442)

      say your sole data provider is credit card payment system, or a database or whatever. The key is that if you wrap a data service round that source - and you map out business services such as:

      • authorise Payment
      • Validate PIN Number
      • Process Settlement
      • Process Transaction Reversal

      Then if you get fed up with the provider of the credit card system then you have the chance to change suppliers without regression testing or rewriting any of the clients. Of course, it also works the other way around. Because you h

  • Is that a bad sign?

    • My first thought was "Sarbanes-Oxley Act". Personally, I'd prefer yours. Less painful and over much, much more quickly.

    • Depends on who's inside that sphere, I guess.

      Or it could be Service Of Anihilation, where you can call for a nuclear air strike through SOAP.

      Or Sphere Oriented Architecture, which makes it real hard to fit your regular right-angled furniture.

  • Eh Sonny? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:41PM (#26487505) Journal
    What is the weird fascination with "eastern" stuff among upper middle management? Virtually everything seems to have had a "zen" book written about it(because the "Zen of joining the rat race and being a driven type-A" is just so Zen.) and let's not even think about the number of besuited shmucks who think that reading a bunch of translated aphorisms about medieval Chinese warfar will make them a beast in the boardroom...

    They're like Otaku with 401Ks.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by westlake (615356)
      What is the weird fascination with "eastern" stuff among upper middle management?

      They began in management when the Japanese corporation seemed to be getting everything right.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Itninja (937614)
      What, you don't think they sell "The Evangelical Christianity of Hentai" books in China? I think the naming convention of "The [sacred belief of another culture] of [something common in your culture]" isn't used enough IMO.
      • by ErkDemon (1202789) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:59PM (#26490323) Homepage
        Hey, this is fun!

        :)

        • "What would Jesus sell?"
        • "The Jihadi of Direct Sales Marketing"
        • "The Sinai Law: The Ten Commandments of Business Strategy"
        • "Cheops' Law: Building the People Pyramid"
        • "The Magic Circle: How Personal Networking can Work For You!"
        • "The Personnel Manager's Zodiac: The 12 basic employee archetypes, and how to deal with them."
        • "The Feng Shui of Downsizing"
          (sample wisdom: study the office floorplan carefully. Identify the employees who sit in the corners of the room. Sack them first).

        Damn, that's six potential business best-sellers straight away!

    • by tcopeland (32225)

      > What is the weird fascination with "eastern" stuff among upper middle management?

      That extends to military leadership too; "The Art of War" is on both the Army and the Marine Corps reading lists [militarypr...glists.com]. It's a little more appropriate in those cases, though...

    • by HTH NE1 (675604)

      I prefer the Zen of Zen: "Wisdom must be gathered; it cannot be given," and "Please state course and speed."

  • by linzeal (197905) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:46PM (#26487589) Homepage Journal

    What is this crap and why should I care? I have more books than I can possibly read in a lifetime and I would wager 90% of them have more meat on their bones than this book. This reminds me of the 90's schlocksellers like the Tao of Pooh and Physics which ruined the topics of both pooh and physics for years to come. Pastafarianism of Perl, now that is a book I would read.

    By the way remember this

    Circa 1999

    You:
      Oh, did you read they discovered the top quark [wikipedia.org] at Fermilab?

    Random Girl in bar:
      No, what is a quark?

    You:
      {QED QCD explanations in a bar at 1 am. You know in your undergrad heart of hearts this is what women want to hear}

    Random Girl in bar:
      Sounds like Taoism to me. Have you read the Tao of Physics, it is a great book. It tells about how the Chinese knew about all that stuff thousands of years ago.

    You:
      What? No they didn't, the standard model of physics is not something that can be partitioned up into dualities for the purposes of serving some crackpot theory.

    30 minutes later at home alone waiting for your dial up modem to get online so you can troll for porn on your isp's NNTP servers. Remember when ISP's had their own NNTP servers?

           

  • don't ask a spark-E (Score:2, Informative)

    by stokessd (89903)

    SOA == Safe Operating Area

    Don't toast those MOSFETs

    Sheldon

  • by hoggoth (414195) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:52PM (#26487727) Journal

    I was reading the SOA wiki page wonder what the hell they were blabbering about. Then I got it.

    It's the old Unix ideal of having many small tools each doing a small job well, and being able to easily tie those tools together into chains (or dare I say pipes) to achieve results.

    Except now instead of it being simple, there are committees, XML schemas, and trade shows. This will help it's success by allowing high priced consultants to participate.

    • While I agree that it is a bit like the way that UNIX tools were built, SOA deals with heterogeneous and distributed environments that are built around business function. The largest misconception I run across about SOA is that it is a technical architecture built around webservices, so in that respect the UNIX comparison holds. However, any SOA approached in this manner will fail, 100%. SOA deals not just with technical processes but also business. In that respect, there is nothing that holds the promis
    • by owlstead (636356)

      It also scales much better, and it does matter less where the services run. As far as I know, pipes don't do that. Pipes also don't know what goes through them, and do not have management interfaces. What you are talking about is much lower level stuff than SOA's, at least as far as I have read into it.

  • by nimbius (983462) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:53PM (#26487761) Homepage
    ive noticed when i preface my technical explanation with the words 'service oriented architecture' i am immediately rewarded with funding approval.

    the only zen in this is that neither of us understands entirely why this works.
    • I've noticed when i preface my technical explanation with the words 'service oriented architecture' i am immediately rewarded with funding approval.

      That has to be the most useful piece of information on SOA I have seen yet.

      You really should put that in a book and sell it.

    • by owlstead (636356)

      SOA as a word at least has more content than your reply. And for some reason you get modded up for it as well.

  • by bwalling (195998) on Friday January 16, 2009 @04:55PM (#26487787) Homepage
    You didn't tell me anything I couldn't skim in a bookstore. You've summarized each chapter into two sentences and said you recommend the book. Spend a little more time providing a critical evaluation - it would be helpful in getting people to decide whether to read the book.
  • I call it BULLSHIT.

    /montyPython

  • The way jobs and the economy is going into the toilet nowadays, I think this would be a much more appropriate topic.

  • by Digital Mage (124845) on Friday January 16, 2009 @05:20PM (#26488263)

    I didn't see a section devoted to governance of SOA because without a strong IT Department your "Zen of SOA" will quickly become the "Art of Interdepartment War" as each division of the company will try to control or influence the service if they they have to connect to it. A strong IT Department can push back on the other departments for the greater good of the company and force departments with rogue apps to eventually use the services.

  • localhost. root.localhost. ( 1 3600 1200 3600000 86400 ) always worked just fine for me. Why complicate things by throwing an MP3 player into the mix?
  • You wrote 5k worth of review on a book about SOA while successfully avoiding giving the reader any clues as to what SOA might be. You even managed to avoid the trap of letting him know what the letters "SOA" stand for. Bravo, sir. Truly a Zen review.

    • by tnk1 (899206) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:27PM (#26489715)

      A monk once asked the Great Master Xideng of Xiangyan zi, "What is SOA?"

      The master said, "The dragon song in the dried tree."

      The monk said, "I don't understand."

      The master said, "The eyeball in the skull."

      The monk said, "I still don't understand."

      The master said, "Yeah, me neither, I think its some crap they feed people who make too much money for doing too little thinking."

      The monk was enlightened.

  • REST Please! (Score:5, Informative)

    by scorp1us (235526) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:04PM (#26489213) Journal

    As someone who thought SOA would be a good thing (meaning SOAP and XML) I can say without a doubt it sucks.

    I am working on IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) (Electronic medical records sharing) and I hate it. We are constantly dealing with the same stupid problems time and time again: XML mismatches.

    Please, anyone developing for the cloud or SOA use REST [wikipedia.org] aka WOA [zdnet.com] (Web oriented architecture).

    The difference is simple: Rather than use SOAP for everything, you match it to the usual HTTP paradigms (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, with sensible URLs and HTTP headers).

    The elimination of XML eliminates so many issues you will not believe. The best that I can tell is XML is a document, this document can be versioned, while HTTP is a protocol. You therefore eliminate a layer that has to be maintained.

    For instance, the PirateBay uses REST-like inerface:
    GET http://thepiratebay/browse/603 [thepiratebay] gives you the

    whereas with SOAP you'd need to agree on a transaction name, XML schema, paramters. Then someone will decide that you need to support base64 encoded file uploads and downloads, so that'll have to go in the schema too. With REST you just use the standard HTTP headers...

    Friends don't let friends develop SOAP.

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      No offense, but it does not sound like you have SOA - it sounds like like you just use webservices. Your ESB should translate your messages - if you are doing point to point webservice calls, then your architect has seriously made a mistake. REST vs SOAP has almost nothing to do with SOA other than WS are a commonly used technical implementation in SOA. WS, REST, SOAP are NOT synonymous with SOA. ALso, I'm not sure that getting rid of XML solves anything - now each webservice has it's own interface or da
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by scorp1us (235526)

        You make some good points. However, even though I my not provide the best talking points, I am not the only one to think so [zdnet.com]

        The SOA is a business-focus driven paradigm. It is the space of top-down development. WOA comes in from the other angle and is resource based. The clear winner here is WOA, because it allows you to combine the resources in new and unexpected ways. This is where innovation lies. SOA, being top-down is more about governing structure, so by definition you'll be more limited. I'm not sayin

  • If you have no slaves, then your zone's SOA serial number, refresh, retry, expire and minimum fields don't matter.

  • by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Friday January 16, 2009 @06:09PM (#26489299)
    ... that SOA stood for Start Of Authority - as in the BIND name server configuration which inidcate that the config file is for a particular 'zone' (analogous to a domain name)

    How disappointing to discover it something as loame as 'Service Oriented Architecture'. Tell me, do any of you have an architecture that is not 'Service Oriented', and if so, how do you use it, if your architecture isn't designed to accommodate/enable 'services' (i.e. functionality), what is its purpose.
  • ... tells me how to fix my motorcycle.
  • by monkeySauce (562927) on Friday January 16, 2009 @07:15PM (#26490581) Journal

    I like what I've read so far, but you really can't have an intelligent discussion about SOA without getting into PTK, at which point you'd be completely negligent not to address NGE as well. The "Zen" focus of this book makes it ideal even to tie in PTK, because of the elegance and simplicity with which they relate to SOA. NGE clearly makes the application of PTK as it relates to SOA, an extremely valuable yet simple vector of the overall SOA realm. Despite the relative newness of NGE I think I can go out on a limb and say that SOA would not be where it is today if it weren't for the fusion of energies between PTK and NGE having propelled it there.

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