Mike Meehan at SearchSOA.com
has done some homework on the use of Web Oriented Architecture (WOA)
, and the IT folks in the field are fed up. Enough with the labels, they seem to be saying.
And they raise excellent points. I for one am by no means wed to the "WOA" nomenclature. Several other industry analysts recently told me as much -- "WOA is not the right term" -- during a dinner at the IBM Impact event earlier this month.
So what really counts is the concept of not waiting for legacy-abstracted, middleware-driven, investments-heavy SOA
before seeking wider berth for more easily available and ecumenical services-based productivity. WOA is about lightweight and externally and internally originating standards-based services and independent data being used now, not after an internal SOA infrastructure is ready (and for some that's five years).
You know the drill: Build it and the services will come, so ramp up on that registry/repository, BPEL engine, scalable middleware beyond EAI, SOAP and XML appliances, additional performance management tier, ESB, federated ESB, data services tier (and another 15 acronyms there), SCA/SDO support, Windows Communication Foundation hooks, and so on.
All of these can be powerful and necessary, but there are multiple tracks to services and business processes flexibility. And some of them are ready now, are cheap and even free, and they are driving a lot of innovation in the field. And some do not require all that much input from IT.
So, true, WOA, isn't an architecture, it's a webby style of apps and integration, of mashups and open APIs, of using REST and RIA clients, all from a variety of Internet sources. It's integration as a service, too. These can all be composited, accessed and managed by an enterprise's internal SOA, or not. The services can come from a cloud, public or private.
These webby assets could just as well come together as portals, standalone Web apps, SaaS, or RIA front ends for composited ecology services that support extended enterprise processes. The point is there's no need to wait.
So WOA as a term does help break out of the box in terms of thinking about SOA as more than "the long journey" that can pay off in years after taking years to develop.