There is more to SOA than meets the eye
Most people have branded Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) as a failure disapproving it as an exaggerated concept. Does it mean that SOA is a total failure? The fact of the matter is that there is more to it than meets the eye.
With the advent of economic recession, SOA was written off by most of its critics on the ground that it was impractical since it brought in huge overhead costs. They considered cloud computing as more beneficial than SOA.
The following are some of the reasons put forwarded by the critics to advocate that Service Oriented Architecture is a misleading concept:
SOA is all about blending different software services. Deploying SOA based architecture helps organizations to establish loose coupling among services, which can be used within multiple business domains. This interaction between different services makes it a highly complicated and complex concept.
Security issues are considered as an important disadvantage of SOA. Since SOA facilitates interaction between services either within the company or between different companies, security is an important aspect that is threatened here.
SOA based architecture is not consistent when it comes to interoperability with other systems and services.
The hype around SOA is nothing but hard sell marketing technique adopted by the vendors.
However, statistics prove that the criticism against SOA being an idealistic solution is entirely false and speculative. As per a recent survey conducted by Forrester between Dec 2008 and Feb 2009 when economic recession was at its zenith, 60% of the IT respondents reacted positively to SOA benefits and only one percent found fault with the methodology.
Actually the disadvantages noted by the critics are something that the SOA supporters do acknowledge. However, the critics went one-step ahead and blew it out of proportion. Instead of openly denouncing and condemning it as a fallacy, what the supporters suggest is to properly assess and evaluate this concept to reap its innumerable benefits. Some of the strategies proposed by them to minimize its negative aspects are:
Never undervalue the complexity of SOA based architecture- SOA is a complex and complicated technology deserving dedicated attention.
Implementing SOA technology requires right skill sets and tools - Being a complex technology, only those who are adequately trained must be allowed to implement it.
The security risk can be minimized by enforcing SOA Governance - SOA Governance helps to contain security breaches, overhead costs, and lack of interoperability.
Domain understanding is very much essential - Details regarding every aspect of SOA based architecture must be properly understood by all in order to fully tap its potential.
Never go by the vendor's words - Vendors do not know the intricacies of your business processes and therefore are not in a position to guarantee you anything.
To put it briefly, SOA is a force to reckon with but its immense possibilities can be tapped only by those who make an effort to understand it perfectly.