I was just reading through Ronan Bradley’s Illuminatus Insight, ‘Delivering reuse demands organizational change’, and it brought to mind the debate about SOA and reuse.
When SOA started 10 years ago, reuse was a big factor – the ability to have services that could be used by all, reducing redundancy and maintenance costs. Then SOA got poular and some people tried to lift the message to synch much more with executive-think. So SOA became the answer to business agility, aligning IT to business objectives, increasing the return on existing investments, increasing business visibility throughout IT operations and so on.
Now I’m not saying these things can’t be done with SOA – they can. But it seems to me that a lot of these are grand, strategic benefits that can be somewhat difficult to measure, and this is a problem to those people trying to build business cases to justify SOA investment. I think this brings us back to reuse as being a major pragmatic driver of SOA – that is, a driver that actually drives real SOA investment. It is much easier to quantify monetary returns from improvements in reuse levels. So, despite the fact this may be regarded as simplistic and blinkered, I still believe that SOA and Reuse are immutably intertwined.