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May 20, 2008


Antoine Borg

Hi there,

I agree that the industry really has to stop worrying about what to call itself and needs to focus on the fact that we're all looking at the same item from different angles. Use of resources or services, use of different messaging platforms, use of web services or REST are all part of the SOA family IMO.

Perhaps someone should define a formal taxonomy just like the biologists do for the animal kingdom .... :-)


Rob Eamon

As usual, a nice article Anne.

Antoine, there is value in a common vocabulary. Ask several people for a definition of SOA and the results will probably not be surprising. We certainly haven't reached a level of maturity in naming. For example, ask building architects to describe a Cape Cod or a Victorian and, while there will be some differences, chances are high that they will each describe a set of design features that is more or less uniquely indicative of those styles.

There are many SOA principles that an SOA definition will include. Alas, most of them are used in other approaches too. Noone would confuse Cape Cod features with Victorian features. But the primary features of SO such as loosely coupled, flexible, coarse-grained, etc. don't uniquely indicate an SO approach. Even the term service is overloaded.

Broad agreement on terminology is a tough nut to crack. SOA may have missed its chance for a ubiquitous, mostly unambiguous definition.

Ron Schmelzer

Completely agree. 'Nuff said. Really. 'Nuff said. When will it ever stop? The IT industry really loves splitting hairs. And this is while the business loses theirs wondering when IT will ever get the big picture.

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