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10 ways SOA is like a Thanksgiving meal

It’s that time of year where people dust off old chestnuts, revive traditions and take a wistful look back. This is something we ran in 2005 as part of a newsletter, but it never had an official home in cyberspace. It only seems fitting that we rectify that situation.

Information technology is a serious business, certainly it’s one we take seriously. Even with a major national holiday looming this Thursday we’ll keep bringing you the latest in SOA, Web services and integration news.

Yet, let’s face it, you probably aren’t going to be making that enterprise-altering decision this week or going live with your latest architectural achievement. Too many people will be skipping out early and trying to beat the traffic, with gravy-covered visions dancing in their heads.

We at recognize that. This isn’t the week you’re going to change the world. Rather it’s a week to reflect on what you’ve been doing and what projects will soon be on your plate. With that in mind, here’s our top 10 reasons why service-oriented architecture is like a Thanksgiving meal:

  1. Like a Thanksgiving meal, it takes a lot of work to put together an SOA … and no one wants to clean up the associated mess that comes with it.
  2. Reuse, the next round of Web services you build are the IT equivalent of next week’s turkey sandwiches and soups. You should be getting a lot of meals out of this feast.
  3. Unless you find a way to spice it up or make it savory, SOA can be dry and a lot of people around the table may quickly lose interest. Also, like a big turkey meal, too much SOA can put you to sleep.
  4. An SOA project can bring together a lot of people you rarely see. In fact, you probably aren’t sure you want to see some of them.
  5. SOA can give rise to lots of interesting combinations, kind of like turducken (a chicken stuffed inside a duck stuffed inside a turkey).
  6. Everyone offers up advice on how to cook up an SOA, but they always leave you with the distinct feeling that they aren’t so sure these tips actually work.
  7. Standards, on Thanksgiving the standards are turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, stuffing and cranberry sauce. In SOA it’s WS-* specifications and communication protocols.
  8. You can undertake lots of small projects while you’ve got your SOA bird in the oven
  9. It takes a solid network and good communication to move all the food around a Thanksgiving table so that everyone gets to pick exactly what they want. In many ways, it’s a service-oriented meal dependent on a loosely-coupled infrastructure.
  10. Screw up your SOA and you’ll never hear the end of it.

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