I recently joined Ronan Bradley, Dave Linthicum, Neil Ward-Dutton, and Elizabeth Book in an ebizQ panel discussion/podcast that sought to shed more light on the value of reuse in service-oriented architectures. (The podcast can be accessed here at my ebizQ blogsite.)
There's been a lot of heated discussion lately within the industry on whether reuse can drive the value of service-oriented architecture, or whether the concept has flopped. (Discussed at this blogsite here and here, along with an ROI analysis here.) 'In order to deliver successful SOA, it's important we stay the course with reuse.'
In the ebizQ panel discussion, we all agreed that reuse is a workable reality, but like SOA itself, is a means to a greater end. Ronan Bradley urged that enterprises continue to look to reuse the services that emerge within their services across business units. "In order to develop and deliver on a successful business plan for SOA, I think it's important we stay the course, and continue to look at how we drive up reuse," he said.
Neil Ward-Dutton observed that supply and demand principles would drive reuse. While SOA services are relatively easy to create from a technical perspective, the supply may be far outstripping the demand. "You can't create a market from just creating and throwing stuff out there, when there's no demand," he said. "And the only way to really understand demand is to tie into the strategy of the organization with an enterprise architecture approach, really understand where the business wants to go, then look at what actually needs to be built."
Dave Linthicum agreed that reuse was not the endgame of SOA, but rather a means to take "architectures are completely unworkable messes for the most part" and "turn them into something that's better aligned with business, that's changeable as the business needs change, and something that's workable and cost effective in the organization. ...Reuse is going to be a side benefit of that."