Liquid language

The award for SOA eloquence has to go to BEA Systems. (Hats off to the brand and market positioning team.

The award for SOA eloquence has to go to BEA Systems. (Hats off to the brand and market positioning team.) "SOA is the most powerful movement in enterprise technology today," said Alfred Chuang, chairman and chief executive officer, BEA Systems, Inc., at the company's BEA World conference this week. "The days of business silos and software smokestacks are coming to an end, and our customers couldn't be happier. No longer will managers have to cobea logobble together scraps of information through dozens of phone calls, requests from corporate databases and hours of spreadsheet work. For the first time, they will be able to tap into a network of services that deliver what they need when they need it, all based on a common software infrastructure for applications and services that masks the complexity of underlying technologies."

And one can't help but love the metaphorical imagery associated with "unthawing" today's "frozen" assets. "SOA is a powerful reality for customers today and the real power of SOA will come from freeing 'frozen and idle assets,' which represent a huge part of IT spend," said Bruce Graham, BEA's vice president of worldwide professional services. "Many of our customers are trying to deal with bad architecture that has resulted from monolithic application stacks, non-standard infrastructure and disruptive business changes. The real-world approach shows that best-of-breed and heterogeneity are just a fact of life, and thawing out those assets are key to gaining business advantage from IT."

The critics of SOA will continue to insist that BEA is merely trying to liquify our minds. All marketers, as Seth Godin would have it, are liars. Ah, but if we are going to be told a story -- even if the truth falls somewhere short of the reality -- we appreciate when it is done with panache.