Do two rights make a standard?

'Get with the program,' industry expert admonishes.
Written by Joe McKendrick, Contributing Writer

A philosophical question: If two people agree on something, is that a "standard"?

Dave Linthicum muses about the way some of us are handling standards, at least those set by leading industry groups. Namely, some folks are adapting or bypassing standards to fit their own particular situations.

Get with the program, he says.

Of course, you can't blame users entirely -- the biggest problem has been the way the vendors tend to run amok with either competing standards, or proprietary hooks built off those standards. 

What triggered Dave's anxiety is a suggestion that Web services be deployed on a protocol other than HTTP. This may improve performance, he says, but also kill the SOA effort. "We're willing to bastardize a standard for the sake of a feature, and consider that a good thing. If we all do that there is no reason to have a standard, our systems won't work and play well together because everyone is on a different channel."

He adds that "It's never a good idea to 'adapt' standards for particular purposes unless you're willing to abandon that standard. We know that from many previous attempts."

"The power of a SOA is that everyone is leveraging a standard and thus you should be able to find and leverage other services you did not build... the reuse value of leveraging a SOA. If everyone goes off in their own direction we're getting nowhere."

Vendors, are you listening?

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