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The Agile Architecture Revolution: How Cloud Computing, REST-Based SOA, and Mobile Computing Are Changing Enterprise IT by Jason Bloomberg

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Chapter 6

You Say You Want a Revolution...

Remember the heady dot-com days circa 1999? We thought we were reinventing business, forming a New Economy, revolutionizing the essential nature of commerce. In our dreams! By late 2001 the bubble had burst, and what we thought was a new paradigm for business—the World Wide Web—turned out to be little more than a new marketing channel.

Don't get me wrong—I'm not trying to disparage the power and importance of the Web. After all, the Web, and the Internet in general, have deeply affected so many aspects of business today. It's hard to remember the time when you had to talk to a teller to use a bank or a stockbroker to trade stocks! But we were wrong that the Web was a revolution. It wasn't a paradigm shift. Fundamentally, the rise of the Internet was more evolutionary than revolutionary.

Not wanting to succumb to this delusion again, ZapThink has long held that the rise of SOA was also more evolutionary than revolutionary. We point to many SOA best practices, including abstracted interfaces, encapsulation, loose coupling, and iterative approaches to dealing with changing requirements, among others—all practices that were already well known and favored before SOA came along. SOA moved the ball forward, to be sure, but didn't fundamentally change the way we tackled distributed computing. It wasn't a true paradigm shift, because we didn't have to throw out old ways of thinking and replace them with new ways. Instead, we leveraged the existing ...

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