Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Stefan Tilkov,InfoQ SOA consultant on SOA - Interview excerpts

Stefan Tilkov,InfoQ SOA consultant has a very informative interview on SOA

He defines SOA as....

"I can give you my personal opinion and the aspects that I think are important for a SOA. I think a very important thing is that the driving factor has got to be services, as it's the main construction element. If you're talking about applications, about components, about modules and subsystems you're missing something. You should be talking about services and you should structure your whole landscape by using services as the primary abstraction mechanism. That's a difference against lumping functionality together in applications in a different manner."

And his advice for the organizations looking for SOA....

"I think if you ask a vendor the answer is pretty clear because what you need is their product. For a vendor I think is pretty hard to avoid trying to sell you a product because that's their business and it's totally understandable they will try to sell you some ESB product, some middleware stuff, some magical integration infrastructure that will do anything for you. I think that if you really want to do SOA this is something that you should rather avoid than seek out. What you should do is to make your endpoints aware of the fact that they are being exposed as services."

Defines ESB as...

"If you want to know what an ESB is I think you'll find different answers there as with many of those acronyms. I think a reasonably well-accepted definition is that an ESB will help you connect systems using different technologies to a central service oriented infrastructure so that a lot of the technical tasks are taken over by the ESB product for you so you can rely on it to provide you transformation, routing, adaption of different protocols and all of this WS- * mess, this is all going to be handled by the ESB"

About JBI ....

"The JBI spec is pretty new, it's at version 1.0 about to be released as we speak and obviously with a spec that is so new there's a lot of open and underspecified stuff, but I think it has value because if it takes off it's going to allow you to combine JBI components that you purchased from different vendors into a solution that matches your needs; you can take your BPEL engine from one vendor and you can take your WS-I compliant binding component from another vendor and you can plug them together and hopefully things should work out."

He goes on to add his views about the the reasons for wide acceptance of SOA in the industry

"What I think is exciting is the fact that it creates, or at least that it is perceived to create the opportunity to align business and technology. The whole architectural discussion about aligning your businesses along services has reached a management level where technology usually doesn't play any role. When you talk about services at that level, you're not talking about any of those styles, you're not talking about any technological decision, but you're thinking about your business in terms of services; you have to find the right services, you have to find them at the right granularity, you have to think about ways to price them, to create incentives for people to create or consume them. There are lots of business aspects involved here. It's the first time that the management level actually making those decisions, that the people who actually do the business, really believe in this

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