A Web 2.0-ish approach to advancing SOA

Use blogs and wikis, along with facetime, to build support for SOA.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

Writing in IEEE Internet Computing, IONA's Steve Vinoski weighs in on the results of a poll I reported on a couple of months back, expressing skepticism about results showing SOA failure rates.

Nonetheless, Vinoski is concerned about what it will take to deliver what can be considered a successful SOA, and puts forth some interesting proposals to build support for such a project.

The key to successful SOA does not lie in the technical aspects of the services, but in the organizational impetus behind the creation and support of those services -- or as Vinoski describes it, "the social side of services." He writes:

"The problem is that service networks are, and will be for the foreseeable future, created by people, rather than by the services themselves. In other words, succeeding with SOA isn’t just a matter of getting your services up and running and letting them interact via a registry. If you want to succeed with SOA, you have to work the human side of the equation. Otherwise, all the technology in the world won’t help you."

Organizational barriers -- from turf protection at lower levels of the company to bottom-line thinking at higher levels -- can stymie even the best SOA development efforts.

Interestingly, Vinoski recommends a Web 2.0-ish approach to overcoming resistance to, or lack of awareness about, SOA. While facetime with potential movers and shakers within your organization will always be the best way to build support, Vinoski suggests employing wikis and Weblogs to help get the message across. A wiki, or Website that enables collaborative authoring, and a Weblog can serve as "powerful Web-based socialization tools that can help you build the shared vision needed for SOA to take root," he writes.

Wikis and Weblogs can be used to help describe your ideas for SOA adoption, provide use cases from other companies, and help build an SOA constituency within your organization, Vinoski explains.

Since SOA development can get hopelessly mired in politics, such tools can be a great help in selling your vision and gaining support.

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