Microservices Matters

Mar 24 2009   3:47PM GMT

Survey sees SOA strength

Jack Vaughan Jack Vaughan Profile: Jack Vaughan

The recent tremendous upheaval in the world economy did not bring out the best in the large army of SOA pundits. The upheaval was going to be “the end of SOA” or SOA was going to be “the answer” to the upheaval. The comments did not run the spectrum – the comments ended up on one end of the teeter-totter or other.  Some SOA pundits have been on auto-pilot so long, the auto-pilot is now the pilot. Where is SOA, really? We felt asking the audiences at TechTarget Application Development Group member sites SearchSOA.com and TheServerSide.com would shed a brighter light on the somewhat murky topic.

In the article SOA growth and change” on SearchSOA.com, writer Coleen Frye covers highlights from the survey results. She notes that SOA use is strong. Among the survey respondents, 49% said their organization has one or more SOA projects under way, and 60% characterize their current or future SOA projects as enterprise level as opposed to departmental/divisional level (21%), or single, isolated projects (19%).

Don’t forget: SOA came out of the last downturn. At first it was just something to talk about while you waited for the layoffs to end. It was also very much an antidote meant to take the starch out of a few over-caffeinated self- opinionated Java developers who had came to run the show during the era of Web 1.0. Strip aside the hype and you find it is a solid movement within modern IT.

We contend that what SOA is is a well-planned (architected) way of using a service-oriented approach to software in order to get better results in application development. These days application development is pretty much synonymous with application integration – as the survey at least somewhat bears out.

Frye writes that today’s SOA projects are largely about integration. Survey results show that the top benefits organizations hope to achieve with SOA are improved data integration (32%), enable legacy application integration (32%) and integrated disparate department applications (23%).

Meanwhile, there is interest and uptick in Business Process Management with 29.7% of respondents marking BPM as one of the critical areas for their organization’s technology efforts.  At the same time, 35.8% of respondents counted Business Process Management software among the types of infrastructure software currently used, with 38% planning to use it in the future.

That same question found that grid/cloud software is now used by 17% of respondents, with 38% planning to use grid/cloud in the future. We feel that cloud is somewhat enabled by SOA, and that these twin trends and other forces will usher in more growth and change in months to come. In those same coming months we will share more from the survey as we continue to cover important news and technology trends.

Finally, congratulations to SearchSOA community member Tim Demshar, winner of the drawing among survey respondents for a $100-Amazon gift certificate. Thanks to all the survey participants. We know your time is important to you, and we thank you for sharing some of it to enable us to get a better view on technology in general and SOA in particular.  Read  all about the future of SOA in the TechTarget 2009 SOA Survey.

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