"What Ails SOA?" asks Charles Babcock in a recent blog post. He cites industry thinking -- echoing statements from Gartner -- that SOA is now in the "trough of disillusionment."
So, what are we disillusioned about, exactly?
Babcock concludes that SOA is at the point in which it requires the essentials of any well-run enterprise system -- governance and management. "In the mainframe era, all this governing intelligence was found in the mainframe itself. In the world of client/server, intelligence started spreading out on servers on the network, which became a problem. Now the intelligence is migrating away from servers and onto the network itself, and one of the final steps to SOA is figuring out how to centralize, maximize, and maintain that intelligence when it wants to disappear into a jungle of services."
But if we're just starting to get enterprise-serious about SOA, why are we already in the trough? Usually a technology reaches this dip as the hype dies down and the implementations that have taken place aren't delivering on promises. But for the vast majority of companies, SOA has not even developed yet into a tangible technology that can be implemented yet. So are we disillusioned about something that hasn't even happened yet? Is SOA DOA?
Actually, for those few implementations that can be considered SOAs, I have seen evidence of very impressive results, especially stemming from the reuse of services across the enterprise. But it seems the vendors have gotten too far out with the hype. And that's a shame, because SOA can really make a difference, when implemented with the same deliberate sensibilities as other large-scale projects.