SOA is BS...Sort Of

Note: this post is of the rant/whining category. You have been warned...

After spending some time looking over SOA, I'm firmly convinced of two things:

  • The concepts are fine, they make sense (let's expose functionality that anyone can hit)
  • The fluff around it just reeks of BS

Let me clarify. I don't mind the core concepts of SOA. It makes sense. It's the next step for businesses to open up their environments for the clients. But what I can't stand is all the airy, confusing, techno-babble around SOA. See, a fair amount of the documents I've found insist on talking about SOA in an implementation-free context. That's fine, but that's not the way my mind works and thrives. I like to get stuff done, and I like to see people get stuff done. Showing rectangles and arrows going through clouds with words that start with "WS-" in front of them leave me reeling [1].

Now that I think about it more, it's really a problem with me. Knowing the "why" is fine, but not seeing the "how" along with it sucks. You need both; too much of an emphasis on one or the other doesn't speak to me (although I prefer "how" to "why"). Rectangles and arrows are OK for about 5 seconds, and then I want to say, "Cool - where's the code? Oh...you don't have any...ZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ". What I really need are references that honestly and truly cut through the crap and get to the meat of SOA. And I intend to keep trying and digging until I find it [2].

[1] Oh, I also can't stand the WS-* specification set. Other than the Partition docs, specifications bore the hell out of me. And the real kicker is that no one seems to have any grasp of what is worth keeping and what will fall off. Unfortunately, the answer seems to be, "let's just see what makes it and what doesn't." Oh, well, evolution isn't always pretty or pain-free.

[2] It doesn't help that a couple of SOA-related books that I ordered because of the good kudos they got from people I trust came this week, but I'm in Milwaukee until Friday. :(

* Posted at 10.20.2004 02:16:13 PM CST | Link *

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