By Jack Vaughan
Over several years, IBM’s various Impact events have become milestones that mark the general progress of SOA. This week at the 2010 event kick off in Las Vegas, IBM’s Steve Mills made the point that SOA underlies the next generation of innovative enterprise applications. These apps will be highly optimized and, in IBM’s marketing parlance, smarter. Mills particularly highlighted government and health application advancements that service-oriented technology can enable.
“It’s important we are seen as a company that sticks with its ideas,” said Mills, as he outlined the recent course of SOA-enabled integration that set the stage for faster and more flexible application development. There is, he said, “no practical way to achieve broad based integration within your company without embracing SOA.” It is apparent at Impact that IBM wants to focus how companies drive change, and that SOA still sets the stage for such undertakings.
IBM’s smarter planet – widely heralded in print, TV and Internet commercials – has done a lot to change the image of the company. It is seen differently than in the days when competing Apple ads were able to characterize Big Blue as Big Brother. We will continue to follow IBM’s efforts to use SOA to serve commerce and to serve society. It is not as easily done as it is said at events such as Impact. We do feel the typical IT shop will need to continue to work hard to put SOA principles into practice. Integration as a challenge will always be with us. Technology types continue to change, and making sure they play nicely together will keep SOA on the agenda for years to come.