A recent piece by Stephanie Mann looks at SOA design issues today. After over ten years of SOA, some best practices are still emerging. Among the notables Mann spoke with is Robert Daigneau. With stints heading development at both Fidelity Investments and Monster.com – he now heads the Application Development at Slalom Consulting – there are few who have seen more in the way of the evolution of services design patterns than Daigneau.
Daigneau touched upon a most-dreaded pitfall of SOA – here we call it ”boiling the ocean.” It is a sort-of top down approach that must enumerate a gazillion ”services” before writing a line of code. Practicality has move this approach from the top of SOA practices, but there is something very human about it and it can creep out in projects and programs at any moment. Let’s hand the podium over to Daigneau: “If you try to lay it all out there and say, ‘Let’s dream up all the possible services we’ll need,’ that’s the wrong way to do it. There’s always going to be something new you didn’t anticipate, or something you misunderstood because you had too little information. Instead, look at the individual needs of projects and approach it pragmatically from a consumer perspective. Identify and enumerate the services for particular needs; then introduce the services as needed.”
When he says “there’s always going to be something you didn’t anticipate” he touches on something practitioners have learned in the SOA era: There is no final tightly coupled approach that everyone will agree on in all time to come. That SOA adjusted to this fact is a reason it has found as much value as it has as cloud computing, big data and mobile computing have come on line. Read ”Take new approaches to building services with SOA.” For more, stay tuned.