Web Services Does Not an SOA Make

Summary:What makes Web services so appealing is that, for all intents and purposes, its an exercise in pure democracy. Anyone can be a creator and consumer of Web services.

What makes Web services so appealing is that, for all intents and purposes, its an exercise in pure democracy. Anyone can be a creator and consumer of Web services. Anyone with a good idea for a new specification can put it out there for review and adoption. You don't need fancy equipment to be a Web services player. As with open-source, Web services is truly a bottom-up movement.

SOA is seen as the next evolution in Web services. However, there are a lot of steps that need to be taken to get from Web services to SOA. To put it simply, Web services is edgy, hip, and a bit rebellious, but SOA is corporate and conservative. Thomas Erl, writing in recent Weblog on Webservices.Org, brings some clarity to this challenge: that is, SOAs will likely be built with Web services, but building Web services won't make an SOA. Erl, president and chief architect of XMLTC Consulting, warns that the bottom-up approach of building Web services won't automatically put you on the road to SOA. By their nature, Web services are highly distributed, and are most often deployed for point-to-point solutions -- very much a bottom-up approach. Erl notes, however, that "I have yet to see a bottom-up approach that results in anything resembling a service-oriented architecture." By contrast, the top-down approach required for service-orientation "is infused into the business process layer so that services can be modeled in alignment with business models."




Topics: Cloud

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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