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Service Oriented Architecture Field Guide for Executives by Bibhas Bhattacharya, Kyle Gabhart

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4.3. BARRIERS TO SOA'S PROMISES

In the most optimistic estimation, SOA will solve most of the pressing information management problems. In the worst case, SOA is a temporary fad. This fear is not entirely unfounded. New software frameworks and methodologies pop up almost on a monthly basis. Cynics may even hint at a concerted effort by the vendors to sell old wine in a new bottle. The reality probably involves all of the above. It is our job, as savvy customers, to look behind the marketing hype and separate the wheat from the chaff. We will now attempt to do precisely that. We will take a critical look at various claims of SOA and analyze how justified they are.

SOA Will Bring Business and IT Together

The COBOL programming language made a similar claim. Later, when the object-oriented (OO) development paradigm was introduced, the requirements-gathering and analysis phase was meant to connect the business with IT. Neither of these have worked very well. What does SOA bring to the table that is new? The answer is business process management (BPM). BPM works as the foundation and starting point of an SOA-based software development project. This is the first time IT has borrowed a purely management concept and added it to its task pipeline. In SOA, BPM is a closed-loop (feedback-driven) process. When a process orchestration is deployed into operation, it begins to gather key performance indicators (KPIs). The managers monitor the KPIs and then suggest further changes to the process. ...

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