While the Laker Girls were not hired to run any vendor booths this year (as they did last year), attendees seem pleased with the growing maturity of the SOA conversation at Gartner's Application Integration and Web Services Summit early this week. One session that was particularly provocative was Ray Schulte's keynote on "virtualizing information assets." As he sees it, application integration in 2010 "will look much different than integration in 2005 because a new abstraction layer will shield managers, business analysts and developers from having to deal with the technical internals of traditional applications. This layer is already coalescing through modern integration tools and the implementation of service-oriented and event-driven architectures."
Schulte made the case that it's critical for companies to model themselves more actively and thoroughly -- things like services, people, relationships and contracts. That will be a key and crucial step in the move toward the SOA future.