Entries from February 2008 ↓

The SOA Governance thing…

SOA Talk ask if there is a better term than “SOA Governance”. The “Big Brother” connotations of SOA Governance have bothered me for a while but I don’t think there is a need for new terminology.

At design time, what is needed is a shared understanding of the architecture principles, frameworks, standards and best practices used within your organisation for providing and consuming Services.

How do you ensure that this shared understanding is
a) communicated effectively,
b) understood and
c) implemented by all.

This goes way beyond technology solutions and encompasses the overall development culture. Tools can help – but they should be an enabling framework rather than an enforcing roadblock.

Update: Todd Biske has recently also blogged about the relationship between governance, tools and culture (here and here).

The State of SOA Adoption

Amberpoint just released a survey on SOA Adoption and the headlines proclaim “SOA is mature, diverse and successful.” Hmmm…lets take a look at those results.

Of the respondents roughly 60% are either experimenting or in development. I read this as saying that SOA adoption is still far from the mainstream. The press releases ignore these and concentrate only on the projects in production. And the biggest impediment to SOA adoption was cited as “lack of SOA Expertise”. This was followed by organizational reluctance to change.

However, given the early stages of these projects, organizational impediments and lack of SOA expertise…everyone seems to be wildly successful. Only 1.5% of respondents reported a lack of success with their SOA adoption. This is amazing! SOA must truly be the secret sauce to success. Or maybe people aren’t owning up to the inevitable challenges and false starts that occur with any new technology adoption.

I think this is more an artifact of the self-selecting nature of the survey. Only a few percent of the people approached responded to the survey and it is likely that only successful organizations would be enthusiastic about responding (see the methodology section at the end of the report).

I also wonder how others in the surveyed organizations would characterise success of SOA adoption. Different people on the IT side and the business side would value different success criteria and would also rate differently on those success criteria.