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The dog days of SOA

We’re officially into the dog days of summer, that time of year when you’re mind strays to thoughts of cooling off in a body of water. As it turns out, we’re also into the dog days of many SOA implementations.

A recent Burton Group study found that many SOA initiatives have stalled, mainly due to an inability to involve the business in the effort. In a more general sense, stalls are to be expected in any 20-year initiative. Faces change, acute problems arise, the funding pipeline temporarily goes dry. Surely you didn’t expected that achieving enterprise agility, automated business processes and streamlined data access would be a quick or easy process.

If you’re fighting through a corporate lull or battling your own ennui, take heart – you’re not alone. During a long haul you will need to take some rest stops and SOA is an extremely long haul. Here’s some thoughts from Burton Group’s Chris Howard concerning SOA fatigue:

  • “You can build something that is absolutely spot on perfect and it will still be wrong.”
  • “Reusability is always over-promised.”
  • “What do the executives care about? They care that the SLA holds and they don’t care how you do it.”
  • “SOA fatigue is setting in because SOA success is tenuous, but when SOA succeeds, it really succeeds.”
  • “What does it mean to be 100% SOA compatible? Is that like good fiber or something?”
  • “SOA needs to be part of something bigger and if it’s not, then you ought to ask yourself why you’re doing it.”

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