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Rethinking development

To succeed with SOA, developers must change the way they develop applications.

One of the biggest hurdles that developers face is that they can't just go out and purchase software to implement an SOA. "To succeed with SOA, developers must change the way they develop applications," according to Burton Group research director Anne Thomas Manes.  "Unfortunately, most development tools aren't designed to support SOA. And even more, unfortunately, most corporate cultures discourage developers from using their time to design reusable services.

In a research report that is available on its web site, Burton Group goes on to offer these "critical steps for SOA success":

  • Gain buy-in for SOA from senior business and IT managers.
  • Define SOA design principles and best practices.
  • Choose development tools and infrastructure products that support SOA design practices.
  • Educate developers about SOA design practices and proper use of tools and infrastructure.
  • Implement incentives and IT governance processes that ensure IT and business teams are following SOA design practices.

SOA success, the analyst firm concludes, involves a "roadmap that describes how the organization will migrate application design practices and tools to realize the benefits of service-oriented computing. [W]ith slow and steady commitment, SOA will decrease duplication of development work, simplify maintenance of service code, and improve overall consistency of business processes." The objective is "business flexibility and adaptability."