‘BPM screws up SOA’ and other insights from latest SOA panel

June 2, 2011 No Comments

That was the main question explored at the latest panel discussion on all things SOA just posted by Boris Lublinsky over at the InfoQ site. (It has Jim World Wide Webber participating, so you know it’s going to be interesting.)

There was general agreement that while the hype and spotlights on SOA have diminished in recent years, it still is the essential architectural approach required to sustain any and all business technology initiatives. However, for some, it’s still difficult to connect the dots between SOA and many of today’s raging trends.

Here are a few nuggets:

On the relationship between SOA and business process management (BPM):

Steve Jones, global head of master data management at Capgemini: “BPM screws up SOA… (Jones originally said this in back in 2007, see this link). SOA actually makes great BPM and BPM is a great approach to implement the capabilities of a business service….  But starting with BPM tends to drive fine-grained single operator services, which isn’t a good thing in terms of creating a robust architecture.  The important thing therefore is to understand your services and capabilities first, then choose to implement capabilities using BPM, this gives both good SOA and good BPM.”

Claus T Jensen, senior technical staff member at the Business Process Optimization (BPO) Foundation: “It is possible to derive value from BPM without SOA, though you do expose yourself to ’service sprawl.’ It is also possible to derive value from SOA without BPM, but in all honesty, BPM is a natural component in an SOA strategy, as it provides a built-in business context for the architecture itself as well as immediate business operational benefits.”

On the relationship between SOA and cloud, and between SOA and “Big Data”:

Jim Webber, Chief Scientist with Neo Technology: “This notion of SOA in the cloud or cloud being the next generation of SOA is rather dull at this level… The cloud is not the savior of SOA, rather it’s the next shiny object that will attract certain thought leaders, analysts and so on. If your service deals with big data, that’s how they’re related. Otherwise they’re not: data is data, services are about behavior atop line of business data.”

Stefan Tilkov, co-founder and principal consultant at innoQ: “There obviously is a relation in that whatever services you consume, you’re likely to do so over a network and you won’t care about the implementation details. This works nicely for most IaaS solutions such as Amazon’s, but I still find it hard to map something like Google’s App Engine onto some SOA concept, and often feel the connection is made by those want to attach their SOA thoughts from the past to the success of the cloud computing model today.”

Read More of Joe McKendricks Blog Post on ZDNet

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