Can Bob the Builder do SOA?

Summary:Speaking of Bob Vila and home construction (see Britton's recent post on new ways Web services may change our lives, including changing light fixtures), this construction analogy surfaced on the Microsoft XML team's blog site. Below are some excerpts.

Speaking of Bob Vila and home construction (see Britton's recent post on new ways Web services may change our lives, including changing light fixtures), this construction analogy surfaced on the Microsoft XML team's blog site. Below are some excerpts.

This vents the software architect's frustrations with SOA-building; if you are an end-user or manager, you may have a different take on the shifting demands of the relationship. The bottom line is that we're all in this together. But it always helps to understand the other side's frustrations.

If Building Architects had to work like Software Architects

Dear Mr. Architect:

Please design and build me a house. I am not quite sure of what I need, so you should use your discretion. My house should have somewhere between two and forty-five bedrooms. Just make sure the plans are such that the bedrooms can be easily added or deleted.... Keep in mind that the house I ultimately choose must cost less than the one I am currently living in....

Please take care that modern design practices and the latest materials are used in construction of the house, as I want it to be a showplace for the most up-to-date ideas and methods. Be alerted, however, that kitchen should be designed to accommodate, among other things, my 1952 Gibson refrigerator....

To insure that you are building the correct house for our entire family, make certain that you contact each of our children, and also our in-laws. My mother-in-law will have very strong feelings about how the house should be designed, since she visits us at least once a year. Make sure that you weigh all of these options carefully and come to the right decision. I, however, retain the right to overrule any choices that you make....

Also, do not worry at this time about acquiring the resources to build the house itself. Your first priority is to develop detailed plans and specifications. Once I approve these plans, however, I would expect the house to be under roof within 48 hours....

I advise you to run up and look at my neighbor's house he constructed last year. It has many features that we would also like in our new home, particularly the 75-foot swimming pool. With careful engineering, I believe that you can design this into our new house without impacting the final cost.....

PS: My wife has just told me that she disagrees with many of the instructions I've given you in this letter. As architect, it is your responsibility to resolve these differences. I have tried in the past and have been unable to accomplish this. If you can't handle this responsibility, I will have to find another architect.



Topics: Tech Industry

About

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. Joe is co-author, along with 16 leading industry leaders and thinkers, of the SOA Manifesto, which outlines the values and guiding principles of service orientation. He speaks frequently on cloud, SOA, data, and... Full Bio

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