Steve Jobs' service oriented architecture

Steve Jobs' service oriented architecture

Summary: In his own way, Steve Jobs captured the essence of the SOA vision that many have been pursuing for more than a decade for their enterprises.


Note: This post originally was published in October 2010. As we look back at Steve Jobs' incredible contributions to the computing world, it's notable that he also pursued a "service oriented architecture" -- perhaps the way it should have been done all along.

It will be highly tuned and well governed. All applications/services are sharable, and must pass a rigorous vetting before they are placed in the directory. A chargeback mechanism is in place to cover development costs, and provide incentives to put more applications/services up there -- and keep ramping up innovation as well.

Mac Apple store screen

Mac App Store screen, circa 2010

What a great service oriented architecture.

We're talking about Apple Computer's App Stores, of course. ZDNet colleague Jason Perlow says the store is part of a "fully managed, locked down next-generation Apple end-user experience" that will tightly manage software distribution.

Has Steve Jobs captured the essence of the SOA vision that many have been pursuing for the past decade for their enterprises? Well, sort of. There is, after all, the fact that Apple App Stores are tethered to locked-down proprietary hardware and OS stacks, the very antithesis of SOA. No platform and vendor independence anywhere in sight here.

Would a more open, platform-independent approach of the app store concept work at the enterprise level?  As noted in previous posts here, Steve Jobs' business model presents an interesting and organized way to acquire and monetize services and content. In the process, an app store supports an ecosystem of developers and creators, but acts as a governance mechanism to keep out the malicious, duplicate and substandard stuff.

Again, the Apple App Store is not pure SOA by any means. But it is a compelling architecture. Maybe the 'app store' concept is something SOA proponents have been doing all along anyway. But Jobs seems to have put it all into one clean, efficient mode. Perhaps that's one way to explain it to the business in a way they'll immediately understand.

For more discussion on the rise and implications of enterprise app stores, check out this intriguing podcast panel discussion hosted and posted by ZDNet colleague Dana Gardner. It looks like Jobs' vision did sink deep into the heart of enterprises.

Topics: Apple, Browser, Enterprise Software, Software, Software Development

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  • RE: Steve Jobs' service oriented architecture

    Even it does make sense, it's Apple's SOA, not Steve Jobs' SOA. I am just fed up with ppls who always think all Apple products are produced single-handedly by Jobs. It is really disrespectful to all Apple engineers and product managers. Have anyone been talking about Bill Gates' Vistual Studio, or Larry Ellison's Exadata?
    • RE: Steve Jobs' service oriented architecture

      I could not have said it better.
      Even though Steve Jobs was more important for Apple than either Bill Gates was for Microsoft or Larry Ellison is for Oracle, one should not forget that Apple products are the result of the work of whole teams of talented personn not the ex nihilo creation of one man.
      Sure his death could have a negative impact on Apple, though i personnaly believe that it is Apple behavior more than Steve Jobs death, which has the more potential to significantly hurt this enterprise.
    • RE: Steve Jobs' service oriented architecture

      @yoroto <br><br>Great point. Jobs was so incredibly hands-on that we tend to associate everything Apple does with him. I'll share this point made by Eric Jackson at Forbes:<br><br>"There is a misconception that Apple is Steve Jobs. Everyone else in the company is a faceless minion working to please the all-seeing and all-knowing Jobs. In reality, Jobs has surrounded himself with talent: Phil Schiller, Jony Ive, Peter Oppenheimer, Tim Cook, the former head of stores Ron Johnson. These are all super-talented people who don't get the credit they deserve. The fact that Apple's stock price has been so strong since Jobs left as CEO is a credit to the strength of the team. Jobs has hired bad managerial talent before. John Sculley ended up firing Jobs and -- according to Jobs -- almost killing the company. Give credit to Jobs for learning from this mistake and realizing that he can't do anything without great talent around him."<br><br><a href="" target="_blank" rel="nofollow"></a>
  • RE: Steve Jobs' service oriented architecture

    >>There is, after all, the fact that Apple App Stores are tethered to locked-down proprietary hardware and OS stacks, the very antithesis of SOA.

    Hmmm. SOA is not about using Open Source products, it is about loose coupling between layers and adhering to open standards.

    >>No platform and vendor independence anywhere in sight here.

    That is another false assumption. Why platform independence or vendor independence is needed? If I could expose my services to outside world in a standard format using approved protocols for the outside world to access it, that should be fine. The essense of SOA is blackbox provider and consumer nature. Service Provider doesn't have to know how a consumer is developed and vice versa.
    Ram U
  • RE: Steve Jobs' service oriented architecture

    Many foundations and other nonprofit organizations contribute to the development of technology. In the OECD, about two-thirds of research and development in scientific and technical fields is carried out by industry, and 98 percent and 10 percent respectively by universities and government. -<a href="">Unilife Alan Shortall</a>