SOA Talk

Feb 13 2008   11:11PM GMT

Wall St. looks to meld enterprise mashups with SOA

StorageSwiss George Crump Profile: StorageSwiss

Web 2.0 and enterprise mashups were the hot topics at this year’s Web Services/SOA on Wall St. conference. Michael Ogrinz, principal architect for global markets at Bank of America, revealed his company was heavily pushing the mashup concept to its internal users. He argued mashups are a way to overcome low user expectations that the Internet can become a dynamic, useful tool in getting their jobs done.

He also said end user IT departments ought to get involved in mashup development.

“The reason you see the emergence of these mashup vendors is IT has failed to provide the service,” he said.

That’s an interesting take, that vendors are rushing in where users haven’t dared to tread. The panel on which Ogrinz sat lauded mashups for their do-it-yourself nature and expressed hope that more companies would catch the DIY spirit.

Jonathan Rochelle, a senior product manager with Google, stated that mashups not only stand to get corporate employees to avail themselves of powerful modern tools, but he also said, “The concept that mashups will be there is what drives the architecture.” Essentially, his point was that compelling new applications are what makes all that architectural rigor worth the while.

Always ready with a good analogy, Miko Matsumura. vice president and deputy CTO at Software AG, broached the same topic as Rochelle, saying “Mashups are sexual reproduction for your apps.”

Well, that sure does sound like more fun than we’re used to in the IT business, but Matsumura was driving at something more biological, specifically “How does evolution produce variation?” He noted that humans share something on the order of 95% of their DNA with chimps. Similarly, most applications will share the same architecture (once you get a solid architecture in place). From there, variation can take place.

As Matsumura explained it, “You’re looking to enable an infinite number of things you can do in business, but a finite number of things your IT people have to do.”

That sounds like a solid plan, Web 2.0 evolution on top of an enterprise grade SOA. Yet, as Marc Adler, senior vice president of equities and head of complex event processing at Citigroup, noted, data services have a sizable role to play in that enterprise grade SOA and it has been tough to bring DBAs into the fold.

“They kick, they scream, they holler, they don’t want to let their data out,” Adler said.

He suggested a carrot and stick approach to bring the DBAs on board. The carrot is that by opening up their databases, DBAs stand to elevate their status inside the organization. The stick is having executive’s mandate the change.

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