Wednesday, April 30, 2008

FOA v2 of 3


SOA’s failure isn’t so much a fault of the vision, as it is a reluctance to recognize that any particular middleware implementation will soon be obsoleted by something much grander, and fuzzier.

Perfect example: SOA--which many of us have predicated on the notion of universal adherence to abstract interfaces that leverage XML and WS-* specifications--is gradually being abstracted in a broader paradigm that some have called Web-Oriented Architecture (WOA), which is essentially Web 2.0 plus Representational State Transfer (REST), and for which many of the most important high-level patterns, such as social networking, have no clear reference frameworks. WOA nelly! What’s to become of the messy but reasonably coherent SOA stack in a world where there’s no clear commitment to standardizing on interoperability specs that go much beyond bare-bones HTTP, HTML, and JavaScript?

Besides, WOA is primarily a phenomenon of the presentation, access, delivery, and socialization layer, a domain that SOA never seriously attempted to penetrate. WOA is exposing the inherent limitations of the SOA vision, which have been there from the start.

If you consistently acknowledge the limits of your vision, feasibility and flexibility considerations will inevitably open your architecture.