|From:||"Toby Considine" <tobyconsidine@xxxxxxxxx>|
|Date:||Wed, 16 Jul 2008 23:04:24 -0400|
The observable facts that every new concept is turned into a buzzword, and that every new buzzword can be grafted onto this years shipping part numbers (can you say Enterprise Service Bus?) does not mean that there are no new concepts, and that new approaches do not, can not deliver actual new value.
Every technology I have worked with started out solid, became hyped as the next new thing, was over marketed as the only new thing, was then discarded as over-hyped, and, finally, was then discovered to be useful and controllable, in the proper place.
SOA at some level is nothing more than OO writ big (nothing new there!) except with agent concepts (Agents are objects that are autonomous) except somehow, from all the small quantitative changes, something new has emerged, in the hands of careful practitioners, separated from the hype.
Ontology and Services, to my mind, go hand and hand. Tell me what I am getting and what good it is. Tell me how to compare what you claim I am getting vs what the other guy claims I am getting. Give me a way to comapre them.
Hide all the deep process, as important as it is, but not essential to the ontology of service. Don't lock me in to one process, but let me understand the myriad of services that I am assembling to acheive value.
Early integrations/analysis were always about "Show me the paper process. I will do exactly the same thing on the computer" This is why, for so long, it was hard to find the value in computerizing process beyond mere automation. Service Analysis turns that on its ear, and asks "What is the value I am getting from this process?" Having asked that, the way is open to ask, "How else might I get that value?"
This is fundamentally a problem of alligning service semantics, and formulating ontologies. Such work is hard. Avoiding hard work is one of the factors that fuels the hype, for those who want to avoid that work.
But to me, those selling product that pretends to do away with that semantic discovery are no worse than those who claim it is all puffery, and so not worth doing.
Process is only interesting within a domain, or within a company.
Semantics enables comparisons across domains/organizations.
These semantics, when formalized, help recongize services.
Ontology lets us use, re-use, and compare the services in SOA.
They go together,.
One of the pithiest obeservations in this area that I ever heard was that it is impossible to prepare SOA for the procedure oriented enterprise (POE). If you started with a service oriented enterprise (SOE), then discovering the SOA was easy. A lot of people in a lot of organizations do not understand what value they provide. SOA will be most usefull in governments and large organizations such as Universities precisely because these entities tend to be SOE. By the same token, as many do not understand what service they provide, it will be hardest in those areas.
On Wed, Jul 16, 2008 at 3:28 PM, Ron Wheeler <rwheeler@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx> wrote:
"When one door closes, another opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us." -- Alexander Graham Bell
Chair, OASIS oBIX TC http://www.oasis-open.org
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