Everyone wants SOA, as long as it's not SOA

'There are 5,000 people on this planet who understand SOA; while one million people are charged with migrating to cloud.'

Everyone wants SOA, as long as it's not SOA. That's the word from Dave Linthicum, who points out that he's seeing lots of demand for breaking up applications into logical sets of services that can be delivered via the cloud.

In other words, service oriented architecture. Just don't call it that. As Dave explains it:

"The problem is that SOA is a daunting and complex topic. There are only about 5,000 people on this planet (as best I can figure) who understand SOA at a functional level. That compares to about 500,000 to 1 million people (again, as best I can figure) who are charged with migrating core enterprise systems to cloud computing."

James Governor, riffing on Dave's remarks, has another way to describe where SOA has evolved -- application programming interface (API) management. If you want proof, follow the money, he points out: Vendors such as Layer 7 Technologies, WS02, and SOA Software, companies built to tackle SOA governance issues "are now retooling to support Web style APIs, programming models and services."

Both Dave and James are in agreement one thing: the blood, sweat and tears that went into SOA work over the past decade was not for naught, it laid the foundation for the brave new cloud world ahead. "What we learnt in SOA, and built for it, will be relevant in the new world of APIs and post WS-* stack," James says.