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Enterprise Architecture in the Agile age - Part 2, Architects and developers

EA and SOA Consultant Mike Rosen talks enterprise architecture trends with editor Jack Vaughan. recently spoke with Mike Rosen, who provides an interesting view on trends in enterprise architecture today. Rosen is Director of Cutter Consortium's Enterprise Architecture Practice and Senior Consultant with its Business-IT Strategies Practice. He has more than 25 years of technical leadership experience and currently provides expert consulting services in the areas of EA and SOA. This is part two of a three-part interview.

Vaughan: If there is a schism between architects and developers, where is it going? Will it, like death and taxes, always be with us?

Mike Rosen: I hate to think it's that bad. I think it's a natural tension, just like between business and IT. There is always a little bit of tension there. The developers are trying to get something done as expeditiously as possible and their responsibility is to be very focused on that one deliverable. They're not responsible for having a broader, big picture view. Architecture is responsible for having a broader, big picture view and understanding where what that particular developer is doing, fits into the big picture.

So, often there is a challenge between optimizing as the enterprise and sub-optimizing at the project. I think that's just a natural challenge, but there are ways to address it that are more effective than others.

Good architects, if they make the deliverables useful to developers, understand that. If they provide something that fits into the process, then the developers have to follow. If you give them examples, and frameworks and guidelines that help them, rather than gives them extra work, by and large, they'll go along with it.

Vaughan: Some say SOA is in trouble. At the same time, a lot of data shows that it is, instead, in the mainstream.

Mike Rosen: There are a lot of organizations that are trying to move into a SOA approach and I think that is the right thing to do. I'm willing to go out on a limb and say that service-oriented architecture is going to be the predominant form of architecture for the next decade. Companies are going need to understand it, and start using it. If you look at companies like IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, those companies are investing billions of dollars to service-orient their platform. Again, the software you buy in the future is going to be service-oriented. The challenge that most companies face is figuring out how to get the right services. Some people do good services; some people do not do such good services.

Enterprise Architecture in the Agile age - Part 1, Styles of EA

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