Strategic CIO // Executive Insights & Innovation
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8/14/2008
03:12 PM
Chris Murphy
Chris Murphy
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A Better Way Than SOA?

Here in the summer of $4-a-gallon gas, it's serious business to liken something to a honkin' SUV. Yet that's how we portray service-oriented architectures in the illustration on the cover of InformationWeek magazine this week. We're raising the question about development methods that people are asking about SUVs: Do I need, and can I afford, all that horsepower?

Here in the summer of $4-a-gallon gas, it's serious business to liken something to a honkin' SUV. Yet that's how we portray service-oriented architectures in the illustration on the cover of InformationWeek magazine this week. We're raising the question about development methods that people are asking about SUVs: Do I need, and can I afford, all that horsepower?In his article, Roger Smith makes the case for Web-oriented architectures as a simpler alternative to SOA, one that's too often overlooked. Smith notes the appeal of SOA to businesses, but also the simmering dissatisfaction. About a third say SOAs fell short of expectations in our research, and almost 60% say it increased complexity. Just 10% say it exceeded expectations. Writes Smith:

The lesson is that more often than not, simpler is better. A growing number of companies are finding that lower-visibility Web-oriented architecture (WOA) developments, spawned through grassroots movements, are a better route to the service-oriented architecture.

The risk and complexity that comes with an SOA are a bit like getting 13 miles to the gallon. It makes perfect sense -- if it's the only way to get the job done right. But for a possible alternative, give Smith's article a read. And please share your own experiences with us.

(Click here to see our SOA-as-SUV cover art, and here for PDFs of any InformationWeek magazine issue. Free registration required for the PDFs.)

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