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SOA trends: From microservices to appdev, what to expect in 2015

From the latest architectures to the DevOps movement, industry professionals shared what they think will be the biggest SOA trends in the New Year.

Mobile application development, APIs, big data, the cloud and the Internet of Things: Developments in these areas have made 2014 an eventful year for SOA and the enterprise architects working to solve and prevent hiccups when integrating technologies. As great technologists know, the industry is anything but stagnant.

To highlight the inroads made in 2014, reached out to industry insiders. They shared their predictions for what will be the biggest SOA trends in the new year: from the latest architectures, like microservices, to the DevOps movement.

Anne Thomas, VP distinguished analyst, Gartner

Anne Thomas, vice president and distinguished analyst, Gartner

I think that a small number of people, maybe 10% of organizations, will start trying to play with microservices and bounded context during the next year. Generally, I don't recommend it for just anybody. I think plenty of people are going to get fantastic benefits just from doing service orientation without really going into this full microservices level.

Something I found really interesting is this growing no ESB movement. A lot of folks are saying an ESB doesn't necessarily help me build my services; it doesn't help me create good APIs. All the integration features built into an ESB are often overkill if I am trying to build APIs and push those APIs out and enable people to build apps that consume my APIs.

Craig Muzilla, senior vice president, applications platforms business, Red Hat

Craig Muzilla, senior vice president, applications platforms business, Red Hat

I think you will see a lot more activity as it relates to cloud in general, but specifically platform as a service. People are getting their arms around this and really changing the way they are developing applications. The whole DevOps movement is going to be quite significant in the next couple of years. The other area to keep an eye on is mobile. A lot of the new application development taking place in enterprises is that people are thinking mobile first and how they are going to support these mobile applications -- how they are going to build them out.

Wade Sendall, vp of IT, Boston Globe Media Partners, LLC

Wade Sendall, vice president of IT, Boston Globe Media Partners LLC

When I started, technology owned everything, controlled everything. Everything was locked behind closed doors. We went from mainframes to minis to client/server to cloud-based solutions, and I think now the whole federation of technology is huge. A lot of the old-school technologists are having a real hard time with it because we are used to controlling everything; well, we can't control everything. You are partnering with the business now. You are not telling the business, you are not the one that makes all the technology decisions, but you are the one that has to supply the requirements.

Mark McDonald, co-CEO, Appster

Mark McDonald, co-CEO, Appster

The app store will become more competitive in 2015. A huge focus will need to be on keeping users in the app (retention) because 95% of users abandon an app within 30 days, and around 50% within 24 hours. Startups will need to focus on discovery like never before, with over 1.5 million app competitors. And with Facebook positioning its advertising toward helping app developers get found, this will become an even more popular model. We'll see more apps designed for multiple screens: for example, iPhone, iPad and now iWatch.

Dan Skatov, head of development, Starcounter

Dan Skatov, head of development, Starcounter

To achieve increasing market goals and run business in real time, in-memory technology is a must. Discussing in-memory technology with businesses during the last five years, we have tracked a cardinal change from suspicious attention to consciousness of an absolute necessity. Nevertheless, a further mind-set change is required: Data and applications can no longer be two separate entities. We stop thinking of in-memory databases only and shift to a broader paradigm of in-memory data platforms. Inside the paradigm, a computing platform is offered as a complete ecosystem to develop data processing applications. In 2014, the trend of in-memory computing has been widely pioneered by SAP HANA, bringing new horizons to enterprise systems and line-of-business applications. The movement will definitely take roots in the market in 2015.

Dev Patel, CEO and founder, Bityota

Dev Patel, CEO and founder, Bityota

Developers are going to be purveyors of big data, whether it's in traditional enterprises or in a traditional way in thinking: BI and data warehousing. That [area] has been the ownership of a DBA and a business analyst. Going into the future, you'll find developers taking responsibility for big data. Why is that? We are seeing that all the way from applications through to big data insights and recommendations; developers are closer to the product than an analyst. An analyst has been closer to the reward of the product.

Nishant Patel, CTO, raw engineering

Nishant Patel, CTO,

Cloud integration and orchestration to me is going to be big. You have all of these cloud applications online and all of these devices that have APIs that you can talk to. You'll start to see some use cases and solutions around cloud integration where you can just go in and collect some of these devices and create workflows and get more value out of services.

Editor's note: Responses have been edited for clarity and brevity.

Maxine Giza is the site editor for SearchSOA and can be reached at

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What SOA trends do you think will be the biggest in 2015?
Based on current trends and research, I expect microservers to be one of the biggest SOA trends for 2015. Following with the growth of 2014, I see 2015 SOA trends continuing to go mobile first. Mobile app development is the fastest growing SOA sector and I expect it to continue its growth through 2015. As devices become more sophisticated I also see SOA trends for 2015 that include in-memory technology.
Microservices definitely seems to be the hot one at the moment. I don't recall hearing anyone talk about it even in 2013. Mobile, too, although I feel like that has been a factor for a few years now.