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March 21, 2010



Interesting that Separation of concerns, Loose coupling and encapsulation are being described as SOA princples. They are principles of any well thought out architecture - SOA or not.

Loose coupling seems to me to be the loser in many of the implementations that I see. Especially what I will call temporal coupling. After all much of what we worry about with coupling is "change that happens to one component affects another." A change in schedule (B wants to process its batch jobs at 5 instead of 6) means a change for A( must now ensure that the information that B needs is available at 5 - what are the implications?)

SOA is no help here. There are useful patterns but just using this broad statement about SOA doesn't hack it for me.

So maybe SOA really is dead, but the old truths of well designed systems live on

Anne Thomas Manes

Thanks for the comment, Chris. In many ways, SOA is really nothing more than a rehash of the same old good design principles we learned 30 years ago. But what's different about SOA is the intent behind the principles and the granularity at which they are applied. I think SOA focuses a lot more on loose coupling than previous architectural styles, too. Given that SOA is still in the doghouse, though, I'm not going to quibble about whether they are SOA principles or just plain good application architecture principles. So perhaps I should have said the "A-Word" rather than the "S-Word" in my title. People don't like "architecture" regardless of what you call it.

William Vambenepe

I agree w/ you and David but wanted to point out that David isn't right to say this wasn't discussed at Cloud Connect. I said just this in the second part of Wednesday morning's keynote. Slides and notes from the talk are at

I didn't get a lot of time (had to pack it all in 10 minutes), but doesn't the "SOA" label on the bucket in the last slide say it all? ;-)

BTW, several people approached me after this talk who have the exact same concern and point of view, so there's hope.



Hi Anne, Completely agree that cloud computing needs an architecture. But if you want an architecture or set of design principles for the cloud, WOA (Web-Oriented Architecture) is a substyle of SOA that is specifically oriented to cloud computing (given that "cloud architectures" are primarily web-based).

It goes beyond (or at least more specifically applies) the venerable principles of separation of concerns, loose coupling, and encapsulation to include the design principles of REST and the Architecture of the WWW Volume 1, etc. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Web_Oriented_Architecture

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