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Random notes - Services boundaries, SOA certification, ESBs

A lot of the news in Service-Oriented Architecture now surfaces via blogs and Twitter. Long years after its inception, SOA still seems to generate controversy, although most people would agree that the controversy should not be overblown. Today we take a random look at a few notes afloat in the swirling winds of SOA on the Web. 

* Since SOA’s near-death experience a few years ago, it has gradually become part of mainstream development – but not to the extent that people don’t still argue first principles.  What is a service? More to the point – what is a good service boundary?  People are still working on that.

For some interesting discussion on boundaries and software architecture see Richard Veryard’s ”On Architecture” blog item on service boundaries in SOA and  Udi Dahan’s ”Software Simplist” musing entitled ”Service Boundaries Aren’t Process Boundaries.” This notion of boundaries is somewhat exacerbated as SOA’s and services’ soul mates BPM and processes come into play. How processes and services map or do not map is still a matter of conjecture. And yet another paradigm is heard from in the form of business capabilities.

* What makes for a good ESB? The formidable Service-Orientated Architecture discussion group has picked up that discussion of late. We take note of expert Steve Jones’ posting in which he says the ESB should do: one, security mediation; two, data transformation; and, three, end-point routing. ”And that is about it,” he continues. ”ESBs that contain functionality become a bottle neck and a massive challenge.”

* The job title “SOA Specialist” has been popping up on the Internet – there is even a small-as-yet LinkedIn Interest Group dedicated to the topic. This group and others are among those discussing SOA specialist certification. As with software engineering certification, there are differences of opinion over whether this is either a good thing or even doable.

Ed. Note: Speaking of SOA certification, one of the pioneers of SOA training, Zap Think, has become a wholly owned subsidiary of Federal and defense consultancy Dovèl Technologies. Longtime readers of know the ”Zap Think Boys” – Ronald Schmelzer and Jason Bloomberg – as two of those who helped ”write the original book” on SOA. Wishing them well.

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