Why does SOA keep forgetting about data?

Every now and then, we all hit that point when we want to stop everything and say enough is enough.

I guess I have just reached that point. I spend my time working with buyers, sellers and implementers of SOA, and just about every conversation is about applications. There is a myriad of tools and platforms that are focused on being able to turn existing code assets into SOA services, building composite service and constructing orchestrated flows…..but everything is discussed from the point of view of the application.

I guess what frustrates me is that when I talk to people about what they want their services to do, particularly when you get to composite services where functions are linked together, the answer is usually two-fold – I need to run the following applications or components, and I need to access the following data. When building an orchestration flow, for example, it is often very useful to be able to interrogate data to help determine the appropriate next step in the flow.

It seems to me that most SOA products don;t really consider this. At most, they allow database calls during flows, but this is hardly in the spirit of SOA. Surely, these calls should be allowed to any data source in the SOA network, whatever the data architecture or format. This would fit with the SOA theme about offering everything under a standard interface.

Come on guys – I know data might seem boring, but it is just as important as the applications themselves.


Posted in best practices, Data integration, Imported, Industry trends, SOA, SOA development.

One Comment

  1. Good point Steve. An SOA without a strong focus on ata and an Enterprise Information Architecture may be only SOI (Services Oriented Integration) rather than SOA. Interestingly, the IC and DAMA have banded together for a one day event in San Francisco on this very topic. Check out the details at http://icdama.icmembers.org/.

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