'100 SOA Questions,' answered

Some answers to fundamental, as well as the most vexing, SOA questions.

There is no shortage of questions about what service orientated architecture is, and what it can do for business technology.  Kerrie Holley and Dr. Ali Arsanjani, both IBMers, have attempted to answer at least 100 of top-of-mind SOA questions, detailed in their new book, 100 SOA Questions Asked and Answered.

Some nuggets:

Q: What are the fundamentals (the DNA) of SOA?

A: "The most basic building block of SOA is a service..." Attributes of services are stateless, discoverable, self-describing, composable, loose coupling, governed by policy, independent location, language and protocol."

Q: Why should business shareholders care about SOA?

A: "Companies that need customizable soltuions or use IT for competitive value, companies working to leverage IT capabilities for business advantage, these are companies that should care about SOA."

Q: How should organizations address funding for services?

A: "Organizations have existing mechanisms, prior to SOA, for investment and for building business functionality; if these work and are effective, they should be modified and used for SOA adoption."

Q: What is the role of change management?

A: "Change management involves communication, organizational design and change, as well as SOA governance so that executives and managers are aware of what they committed to in SOA governance."

Q: Is a certain type of business problem best suited for SOA adoption?

A: "It is not feasible to transition all applications to a new architecture such as SOA, nor is it advisable."

Q: Are enterprise information models required for effective SOA implementations?

A: "Having enterprise information models makes any architecture that uses such models more effective, including SOA implementations."

Q: What role does SOA play in embedded or real-time systems?

A: "There is a class of loosely coupled service implementations that go beyond Web services implementations. They are inspired by SOA service interfaces and loose coupling, and they will be applied to embedded or real-time systems that use mobile robotics and real-time systems that use sensors and actuators within a real-time context."

Well, that's only seven of the 100 questions, and we know there are many, many more.