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The evolution of SOA

In this expert response, Thomas Erl discusses how businesses that have adopted SOA are committed to seeing it through to maturation.

How do you see SOA evolving?

All primary software vendors that officially support SOA seem genuinely committed to advancing their product platforms to provide increasingly sophisticated implementation technology capable of realizing service-orientation on a broad level.

There is currently every indication that SOA will establish itself as the de facto and default architectural model for distributed automation. The primary implementation technology currently associated with the creation of services in support of SOA is the Web services platform.

Therefore, the maturation of many key Web services specifications into ratified standards that are acknowledged and implemented by the vendor community will play a large role in determining the ultimate timeline by which SOA will become fully incorporated within the IT mainstream.

At that time, SOA and the entire service-oriented computing platform can be leveraged in pursuit of its more strategic benefits. How successful an organization is at attaining these and other benefits offered by SOA will come down to how well they plan their SOA transitions and then carry out those plans. Given the complexity of the underlying platform and the many changes a transition will impose upon an organization, it will be easy to inadvertently build "bad" SOA that does not fulfill its original expectations.

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