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The Zen of SOA

samzenpus posted more than 5 years ago | from the read-all-about-it dept.

Book Reviews 219

Alex Roussekov writes "The book "Zen of SOA" by Tom Termini introduces an original view to the challenging world of SOA. He refers to the Zen philosophy as a "therapeutic device" helping SOA practitioners to get rid of prejudices and opinions in order to apply a clear mind-set based on real-life experiences and the application of technology knowledge. Each chapter of the book is prefaced by Zen Truism that the author suggests to "revisit, reflect on it longer, and see if you are able to establish a truth from the narrative, as well as from your own experiences." In fact, the book is about a SOA Blueprint outlining a methodology for building a successful SOA strategy. The target audience is C-level Executives, IT Managers and Enterprise Architects undertaking or intending to undertake adoption of SOA throughout their organizations. I strongly recommend the book to all SOA practitioners involved in implementation of SOA." Read below for the rest of Alexander's review.

The author's vision is based on extensive experience in the SOA arena and he elegantly leads and prepares the reader for the introduction of his SOA Blueprint approach. I personally enjoyed reflecting on the Zen conundrums which stimulated me to focus and understand the content.

In Chapter 1 the author explains SOA as both Business and Technical Concept and the main challenges it tackles from different stakeholder perspectives. He also emphasizes some misconceptions and technology myths about Web Services and ESB which are key enablers but do not represent a holistic view of SOA.

Chapter 2 elaborates on using the SOA Best Practices as a critical success factor for maximizing an organization's potential and improving performance. The author recommends an Incremental Approach to the SOA Implementation. This is supported by a comprehensive Case Study with the US Federal Trade Commission client.

Chapter 3 gives a technology view of SOA. The author covers a number of SOA technology components, their capabilities and positioning within the SOA technology stack including Portal, ESB, Service Registry/Repository, Business Rules and Enterprise Search Engines.

In Chapter 4 — the concept of "Future-Proof" is defined by the author and his team as "architecting to be highly available, reliable, and easy to manage."
The future-proofing is an inherent quality factor with technological and cultural aspects which need to be achieved throughout the overall SOA Lifecycle. The author suggests that "a pilot, or proof-of-concept, presented in advance of implementation and deployment, can convincingly demonstrate the ability of the architecture to validate the business intent".

Chapter 5 presents the author's rationale for an incremental approach to SOA implementation. The main point is that the contemporary business dynamic creates a myriad of competitive pressures which impose significant risks, whereas an incremental approach shields the business from the SOA implementation demands and helps to accommodate the changes and utilize the benefits.

Chapter 6 "The SOA Blueprint" is the essence of the book. It is a "set of guidelines for the practical business deployment of services using SOA methods in a moderately sized, somewhat complex organization". The author has used the OASIS' reference models for SOA as a foundation framework. The Blueprint is also consistent with well defined and recognized methodologies such as TOGAF and Zachman. For example, the Blueprint artifacts fit well in the taxonomy of the Zachman Architectural Framework and they can be mapped to corresponding activities in the TOGAF ADM.

Chapter 7 provides practical guidance and recommendations related to the context of the SOA Blueprint. The author puts the focus on Standardization, Business Customer Perspective of Services, Risk Mitigation Strategy as well as technical aspects such as Data Integration, Service Orchestration, Security and Metadata.

Finally, Chapter 8 offers a checklist with a number of items required for the customization of the SOA Blueprint. The author provides both item definitions and procedural guidance.

Tom Termini shares deep expertise and knowledge gained by hard work on numerous SOA projects for government and private sector clients. His examples of real business value achieved can be traced in the case studies described in the book. Each case study is related to a particular SOA "koan" and comes with the description of the business context, approach, solution and the business benefits obtained as a result.

The Zen of SOA is a concise, readable and very well illustrated book which provides practical advice, guidance and immediate impetus for development of SOA Implementation Strategy, Vision, Roadmap.

You can purchase The Zen of SOA from amazon.com. Slashdot welcomes readers' book reviews -- to see your own review here, read the book review guidelines, then visit the submission page.

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The Zen of First Post (5, Funny)

Gizzmonic (412910) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487313)

You are the first post. You can do it.

Re:The Zen of First Post (5, Informative)

zuzulo (136299) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487343)

SOA means Service Oriented Architecture if anyone other than me loses track of the acronym generation machine occasionally. ;-)

Re:The Zen of First Post (4, Insightful)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487397)

Hmm, a book titled with a buzzword contains more useless buzzwords, jargon, and trite case studies. No wonder why the reviewer states that it's made for C-level officers and other PHB's.

Re:The Zen of First Post (1)

Starayo (989319) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488001)

...

...Player's handbooks?

Where do I get my DM's version?

Re:The Zen of First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26489253)

Duuude, I totally Zachmanned the TOGAF at the last ADM, no-drama Obama has nothing on me. Yo' mama was begging for my SOA all night.

Re:The Zen of First Post (4, Insightful)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487645)

Gosh it would have been nice if someone had defined SOA in the actual posting, and maybe put in a sentence or two on what it's all about. Just throw a bone to those of us not "in the know".

I'm reminded of a former employee of where I work who used the most esoteric and abbreviated language possible, and then showed utter contempt towards those who asked him to clarify.

Re:The Zen of First Post (3, Insightful)

The Moof (859402) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488173)

My immediate thought of SOA was in the DNS context, shortly followed by confusion.

Re:The Zen of First Post (1)

CannonballHead (842625) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489417)

shortly followed by confusion.

shortly followed by confusion? I think that's SFC not SOA... [/humor]

Re:The Zen of First Post (1)

Fissure_FS2 (220895) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488525)

I'm reminded of a former employee of where I work who used the most esoteric and abbreviated language possible

He spoke in MUMPS [thedailywtf.com] ?

slapping Zen (5, Funny)

Phantom of the Opera (1867) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488779)

what's with this slapping zen on everything? What would the koan be : What is the spec before the meeting?

The real zen would be :
  write simple, small things until the form is the function.
  test in reality and in imagination, until both are one.
  the SOA is the illusion. There is no SOA.

Re:The Zen of First Post (1)

joeytmann (664434) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487885)

I thought it was Start Of Authority.

Re:The Zen of First Post (1)

CurrantBunbury (1454199) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487893)

Thank you. I hadn't the faintest idea what SOA was. :)

"Service Oriented Architecture" (4, Funny)

Joce640k (829181) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488883)

Nope, I still don't know what it is.

Re:The Zen of First Post (1)

Richard Waite (461548) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489137)

Thank you. I read the entire review thinking to myself, "there's no way I can read this whole thing and still not know what it is." But I did, and I couldn't.

Re:The Zen of First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26489483)

Thanks, Zen of sexueel overdraagbare aandoeningen (Dutch for sexually transmitted diseases) didn't make sense.

Re:The Zen of First Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26489541)

People who use acronyms without definition are the lowest form swelled headed nitwits.

        or should I say:

Self - Oriented - Assholes

If you have a better example . . . .

Re:The Zen of First Post (1)

HTH NE1 (675604) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489609)

SOA means Service Oriented Architecture

So it's about Feng Shui?

(Hint: a missing hyphen changes the whole meaning.)

Re:The Zen of First Post (1)

zulater (635326) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489243)

Subaru of America

SOA stands for (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26487333)

Scientologists of America.

SOA also stands for (1)

HelloKitty (71619) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487979)

Structure of Arrays

SOA also stands for (1)

FrankDeath (746264) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488087)

Society of Actuaries

Re:SOA also stands for (4, Funny)

FiloEleven (602040) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488523)

"The present addiction to using initials instead of names and to giving institutions long titles that yield a pseudoword acronym is the childish-absurd."
  - Jacques Barzun

We have created a Society of Acronyms, and are much the poorer for it.

Re:SOA stands for (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26488021)

Scientologists of America.

AKA Self Obsessed Assholes

SOA (5, Informative)

sl0ppy (454532) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487341)

SOA = Service Oriented Architecture, and is one of the big crazes in the tech world right now.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Service-oriented_architecture [wikipedia.org]

because the article didn't seem to help with that.

Re:SOA (5, Insightful)

jandrese (485) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487415)

In computing, service-oriented architecture (SOA) provides methods for systems development and integration where systems group functionality around business processes and package these as interoperable services. SOA also describes IT infrastructure which allows different applications to exchange data with one another as they participate in business processes. Service-orientation aims at a loose coupling of services with operating systems, programming languages and other technologies which underlie applications.[1] SOA separates functions into distinct units, or services[2], which developers make accessible over a network in order that users can combine and reuse them in the production of business applications.[3] These services communicate with each other by passing data from one service to another, or by coordinating an activity between two or more services. Many commentators[who?] see SOA concepts as built upon and evolving from older concepts of distributed computing[3][2] and modular programming.

So it's a network with clients and servers on it?

Re:SOA (3, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487547)

It's a way to write procedural applications using Object Oriented languages, while still fooling yourself into thinking your system is Object Oriented.

Cue the flames from the zealots.

Re:SOA (1)

nlawalker (804108) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488637)

SOA has nothing to do with what kind of programming paradigm is used.

Re:SOA (2, Insightful)

ivan256 (17499) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489175)

It certainly does. It forces you to use procedural programming, and tricks people into thinking they aren't because the service boundaries are sometimes separated by a network and cross platforms; thus "justifying" the lack of OO.

Services provide and operate on data. The data itself is exchanged independent from the code/information needed to manipulate the data. This is exactly analogous to linking in a library to pass your data structures to. As opposed to the object oriented paradigm where the definition of operations are encapsulated with the data.

Service oriented architectures violate the very definition of Object Oriented design, and provide a convenient way to write procedural applications in Object Oriented languages. All while tricking the OO zealots into thinking they're still using OO.

Re:SOA (4, Interesting)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488091)

No. It's a loose coupling of different applications and such into services, and then coupling those services with business logic to produce a new application. Think middleware.

Re:SOA (4, Insightful)

frank_adrian314159 (469671) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488617)

Ah, so it's a way to sell more machines to run more infrastructure software (also sold) which companies think will increase their scalability, which they don't really need because most of them are never going to have the amount of business that would force them to scale, where simple client-server software would suffice while they're going down the tubes.

Re:SOA (2)

Brandybuck (704397) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487595)

Still not understanding the "republicans" tag attached to this article. Is there another architecture that's better suited to democrats? What should libertarians and greens use?

Re:SOA (2, Informative)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488027)

Still not understanding the "republicans" tag attached to this article. Is there another architecture that's better suited to democrats? What should libertarians and greens use?

I think people are just randomly tagging articles "democrats" or "republicans". Not sure that there is any rhyme or reason to which tag ends up on which article, other than just whichever tag was applied by more people.

Wait a few more minutes and the tag will go away as it gets replaced by ones that actually mean something for the article.

Re:SOA (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487675)

SOA = Service Oriented Architecture, and is one of the big crazes in the tech world right now.

Yup. Surprisingly, if you modularize your applications they'll work better, be more stable, and be more resusable. Don't know how we would have ever thought of that without an acronym.

You can send me my $50,000 speaking fee to my assistant.

Re:SOA (1)

RKThoadan (89437) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488115)

Wow, you must really like that assistant!

Re:SOA (1)

tsalmark (1265778) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487729)

Start of Authority? Given some of us have been around longer than the latest fad, Acronyms should as noted in every other post, should be expanded at least once.

Re:SOA (1)

c_jonescc (528041) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487735)

No kidding.

I wondered what SOA was a whopping 35 times as I RTFA'd.

Damn.

I was hoping it was:
Sex Opportunities Abound

But would have believed it was:
Subterfuge-Only Acronym
Stupid Obtuse Abbreviation
Slashdot Offers Aggravation

Re:SOA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26488545)

Close. it's "Sexually transmitted disease" in Dutch.

Re:SOA (3, Funny)

vanyel (28049) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487815)

I was wondering why there was a whole book on the Start Of Authority DNS record...

Re:SOA (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488955)

So it synergistically maximizes the minima in a buzzword compliant manner? Does it involve team building?

SOA? (1)

Ultra64 (318705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487355)

Does anyone know WTF SOA is?

Re:SOA? (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487477)

Does anyone know WTF SOA is?

This was a question once asked to me in an interview. I answered "a fancy name for client-server", which seemed to satisfy the interviewer. In many way this is all SOA is, though with the added elements of usually being based on SOAP, XML and connecting to some data provider. The idea is that you are moving the service implementation out of the process and into another one, remotely or locally.

Re:SOA? (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26487579)

A simple "No" would've sufficed.

Re:SOA? (3, Funny)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487653)

So it's a buzzword based on more buzzwords. We're at buzzwords 2.0 now.

Re:SOA? (3, Funny)

The End Of Days (1243248) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487897)

it's a silver bullet!

it's awesome!

it's a great way to sell more hardware and app server licenses!

it's fantastic when you're a consultant because you can stretch out the billing time like you wouldn't believe!

First Lesson in writing a Review (5, Insightful)

smallfries (601545) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487359)

If there is an acronym that you are going to use throughout your review, and it will be senseless without THEN DEFINE IT SOMEWHERE AT THE TOP!

buzzwords (1)

Joe the Lesser (533425) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487571)

Standardization...
Business Customer Perspective of Services...
Risk Mitigation Strategy...
Data Integration...
Service Orchestration...
Security and Metadata...BINGO!!!

Re:First Lesson in writing a Review (1)

root_42 (103434) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487663)

Good point. I was trying to figure out what Structure Of Arrays has to do with management... :-D

Re:First Lesson in writing a Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26487785)

Accidentally moderated this redundant, so I'm posting to kill the moderation.

Re:First Lesson in writing a Review (1)

Snufu (1049644) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487861)

I've always been a fan of somnambulant orange anteaters, but I never knew they were Buddhist.

Learning all the time...

Re:First Lesson in writing a Review (1)

db10 (740174) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489419)

Anteaters kick ass! Have you ever seen anteaters wearing sweaters? woaaah!

Re:First Lesson in writing a Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26487975)

I think the reviewer is just trying to save us all time -- if you don't know what "SOA" is, then skip it.

I wish I had -- what a bunch of buzzwords

Re:First Lesson in writing a Review (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26488273)

The encyclopedia of SOA [soafacts.com]

Single provider and SOA? (3, Interesting)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487375)

One question that recently cropped up is whether SOA makes any sense if you are only connecting with a single data provider? The idea being that the architectural and maintenance costs don't make sense in this scenario since there is just too much over heard. Once you have a requirement connecting to multiple data providers then the effort pays out. Just curious to hear what /.ers have to say.

Re:Single provider and SOA? (4, Insightful)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487883)

One question that recently cropped up is whether SOA makes any sense if you are only connecting with a single data provider?

You have a single data provider now. Will you rewrite the program from scratch when you add another? Will you "rework" it to accommodate the second? Or will you man up and design the thing from scratch as extensible and reusable?

This is the same architectural argument that's cropped up in the discipline since assembler v. compiler.

Hell, farther back than that. Eli Whitney's great innovation, not always recalled, was interchangeable components in firearms. Before that, every weapon was crafted from muzzle to buttplate as one unique system. But try to find an off-the-shelf replacement for the frizzen. Sorry, no can do.

But Whitney's flintlocks? Drop a big pile of mixed components on the table. I guarantee that as long as there's one of each part in the pile, you will be able to assemble a working rifle. Need a carbine? We'll make up a shorter barrel which is still compatible with the receiver and the stock. Converting to percussion cap? No problem, the entire lock mechanism is an engineered replaceable unit.

That's what SOA aims at: interchangeable components in systems. You're not crafting one big program, or complex of programs, from end-to-end, making it up as you go. You're building uniformly-structured and interchangeable components, and assembling them.

Yeah, it's cheaper to build stovepipe. It's just more expensive to use, maintain, and replace.

The folks who argue against these enterprise architecture innovations are the gunsmiths late 18th Century: each thing they turn out is a work of mastercraft, unique and tightly coupled, but entirely constrained by the human limitations on their ability, vision, and skill. But a rifle buyer isn't buying a work of art; he is buying a functional artifact, and if it can be engineered to function better (or differently, if the need arises) by no longer treating gunsmithy as a craft and more as an engineering discipline, so much the better. The artiste gunsmith may be offended. But too bad.

Re:Single provider and SOA? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26489209)

Not exactly an apples-to-apples comparison. A beautiful, artisan, hand-crafted, whatever web site can exist on generic server architecture. But manufactured goods will always have an audience for artisan versions built from the ground up.
Sure, you will not likely be competitive in a general consumer audience when China cranks out the same thing at nearly the same quality for a fraction of the price, but you shouldn't bother with that audience in the first place.

Re:Single provider and SOA? (1)

SpuriousLogic (1183411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488759)

I'm not sure that the number of data providers is necessarily that much of an indicator of the benefits of SOA. The are many ways to skin the SOA cat, but the overarching theme is the componentization of business processes into services and the orchestration between them. It is a significant shift in how the enterprise functions. For sure, small organizations will see little, if any, cost savings in moving toward SOA. However, medium and larger organizations, that find value in the reuse of components via biz services, can see large returns, even with the complexity of SOA governance and implementation. So, whether their is a single or multiple data providers may not be the overriding question.

TLA - OMG! (1)

lysdexia (897) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487425)

Chapter 6 "The SOA Blueprint" is the essence of the book. It is a "set of guidelines for the practical business deployment of services using SOA methods in a moderately sized, somewhat complex organization". The author has used the OASIS' reference models for SOA as a foundation framework. The Blueprint is also consistent with well defined and recognized methodologies such as TOGAF and Zachman. For example, the Blueprint artifacts fit well in the taxonomy of the Zachman Architectural Framework and they can be mapped to corresponding activities in the TOGAF ADM.

I know there is that google thingumbob and all, but it might behoove one to actually IDENTIFY AT LEAST THE MAIN ACROYNYM IN ONE'S POST. Shibbolething shibbolethers! I thougth I was reading a mass email from GE again. Gave me a damned headache, it did.

SOA = Start Of Authority record in DNS (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26487453)

Yeah, I've been doing DNS changes all day today, so when I saw "The Zen of SOA", I got really excited.

My first thought was "Sphere of Annihilation" (1, Funny)

aapold (753705) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487493)

Is that a bad sign?

Re:My first thought was "Sphere of Annihilation" (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487705)

My first thought was "Sarbanes-Oxley Act". Personally, I'd prefer yours. Less painful and over much, much more quickly.

Re:My first thought was "Sphere of Annihilation" (1)

Massacrifice (249974) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487805)

Depends on who's inside that sphere, I guess.

Or it could be Service Of Anihilation, where you can call for a nuclear air strike through SOAP.

Or Sphere Oriented Architecture, which makes it real hard to fit your regular right-angled furniture.

Don't believe the hype re SOA... (1)

Smidge207 (1278042) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487497)

Ever since .Net, Microsoft has been bombarding us with "The Glory of Web Services". Even though a lot of this is aimed at programmers, Microsoft was especially targeting its management level audience. Most of my coding buddies recognized Microsoft's hype for what it was. We remembered the days of "The Glory of Component Services", and before that "The Glory of MTS" (and don't forget DCOM). It was the same speech, regurgitated and changed a little bit for a new transfer protocol and data format. No more applications! Now you just have a bunch of components that just fit magically together to create usable, scalable services. What could be better? Easy deployment? Oh my god, pinch me, I must be dreaming. We've all seen that, tried it, and figured out that its not that easy, isn't that fast, and isn't the silver bullet Microsoft claimed it was.

So we added it to our list of tools to use when the specific need arose. And just when I started to notice that I wasn't being pounded on the head web services propaganda every time I read a white paper or technical article, a new term come onto the horizon. "Service Oriented Architecture" What is this? Something new and exciting? Something grand that will save the project? A new silver bullet? Hmm.lets see here.its.just.oh, web services. Crap.

Now, I'm not claiming that SOA and web services were invented by Microsoft. Actually the push seemed to start big in the Java world for SOA, and I guess Microsoft figured it better jump on the band wagon and get with the picture, so its started hyping it as well. And then what do you know, but all that media hype had to eventually sink into the pointy haired project managers, and they started insisting on turning all business logic and data logic (everything that wasn't the bare bones UI) into web services. Apparently, according to Microsoft, this was going to cut development time and costs, cut deployment time and costs, scale better, be more maintainable, be more stable, more secure, and more extensible. What else could you ask for? And Microsoft wouldn't push something that's inefficient, right? (acho-databinding.excuse me) Next thing you knew, it seemed like everything NEEDED to be a web service. I have several consultant friends who jumped on this bandwagon (as a consultant, you go where the money is right?) and have done dozens of projects where web services were used as the binding glue between the UI, business layer, data layer and the database. I even know of one ASP.Net project where the client UI layer was nothing but a big xml interpretation engine that built pages based on XML passed to it from a web service. It just interpreted the xml to build its UI dynamically, and then passed all response info back into the web services to handle the response. Web services handled everything else. Amazing! I know of several Fortune 100 companies who have implemented extensive systems where all logic is a mass collection of web services. All done in C#, Windows OS and SQL Server.

Again, what's so wrong with this? Well, what is a web service's greatest benefit? What is the reason you might want to use this tool? Its platform independent. It can take data from platform A and fairly seamlessly give it to platform B. It can do so synchronously or asynchronously. It can communicate through firewalls via http/s. Ok, for this list of requirements it is truly a wonderful tool. I've worked on several web service projects communicating between Windows and AS/400 and Unix. I've also worked on projects where I needed to call a secure service that resided outside the corporate network. Again, web services fit this bill very well.

But in the Windows world, why would you want to use a web service to communicate between two Windows servers, inside the same network? You have several options for this, almost all of which are faster and more efficient that serializing objects to XML, then passing XML over http to get de-serialized back to an object and then used (and then back again). The only reason I can come up with is that its easier and faster to develop. I've heard the argument that remoting is so complicated to understand. Pick up a book and read for 2 hours and suddenly its not complicated at all. I don't get it. And the kinds of companies that are moving to SOA type architectures are mostly large corporations, building enterprise scale applications, to be used by hundreds to thousands of users. Are you gona tell me that xml and http is gona scale to that level with a performance level that's acceptable?

And here is my biggest complaint. Why does everyone want to distribute all their objects? This is crazy. Again, we go back in history and we've been told to distribute all our objects with each new technological breakthrough; CORBA, DCOM, MTS, COM+, Web Services, Remoting. We are always being told to distribute our objects. This is crazy talk! Put the logic where it needs to be. If a class library doesn't need to be distributed, then DON'T distribute it!

One of my favorite authors, Martin Fowler, said in his book "Patterns of Enterprise Application Architecture", that the number one rule of distributed objects is don't distribute them if they don't need to be distributed.

The last argument that I've heard for distributed objects has been ease of deployment and updates. You know, on paper distributed objects do seem like they would have an advantage. But I've been designing and writing large enterprise applications for 10 years now. I've written applications that make heavy use of distributed objects and those that only use one or two (based on the application requirement needs). And by far, the easiest to support from an admin perspective is one where there are few to no distributed objects. There are less points of failure, its less complex. Its just easier.

So don't believe the hype, or at don't blindly follow the SOA and the "we must distribute EVERYTING" chanting you hear coming from Redmond. Design the application to its specifications. Distributed objects are just one tool in your tool box. If it doesn't need to be distributed, than just don't do it. If it does, the just distribute the pieces that make sense. I mean if we listened to all the evangelism coming from Microsoft, everything would be a web service, and we'd use SOAP sterilization, XML, DataSets, data binding, reflection, and every application would be a web app. All the wonderful things that make applications fast and scale really, really well.

=Smidge=

Re:Don't believe the hype re SOA... (1)

eison (56778) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488269)

They can easily be accessed both from server-side code and from client-side Javascript code, allowing you to do more complicated and responsive UIs in web browsers without a lot of need to explicitly re-code things for that approach.

Eh Sonny? (4, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487505)

What is the weird fascination with "eastern" stuff among upper middle management? Virtually everything seems to have had a "zen" book written about it(because the "Zen of joining the rat race and being a driven type-A" is just so Zen.) and let's not even think about the number of besuited shmucks who think that reading a bunch of translated aphorisms about medieval Chinese warfar will make them a beast in the boardroom...

They're like Otaku with 401Ks.

Re:Eh Sonny? (2, Informative)

westlake (615356) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487807)

What is the weird fascination with "eastern" stuff among upper middle management?

They began in management when the Japanese corporation seemed to be getting everything right.

Re:Eh Sonny? (2, Insightful)

Itninja (937614) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487859)

What, you don't think they sell "The Evangelical Christianity of Hentai" books in China? I think the naming convention of "The [sacred belief of another culture] of [something common in your culture]" isn't used enough IMO.

Re:Eh Sonny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26487945)

What makes you think that Zen writings tend to deal with medieval Chinese warfare?

Re:Eh Sonny? (1)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488079)

I was referring to the strange fascination with The Art of War as some kind of management bible. The book has nothing in particular to do with Zen; but anybody with a self full of "Zen of $FOO" management books is under grave suspicion of being obsessed with the notion that reading Sun Tzu will make them a super executive.

Re:Eh Sonny? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26488555)

I agree. The term 'Zen' has been misappropriated by the business world in particular and pop culture in general, and is now just a buzzword more often than not.

Re:Eh Sonny? (1)

tcopeland (32225) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488283)

> What is the weird fascination with "eastern" stuff among upper middle management?

That extends to military leadership too; "The Art of War" is on both the Army and the Marine Corps reading lists [militarypr...glists.com] . It's a little more appropriate in those cases, though...

SOA = BIND? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26487577)

Am I the only one that thought SOA as in Start of Authority...as in a book about zen philosophy in your named.conf. Don't get me wrong, I think people that run BIND need as much help as we can get :D

32 dollars for 112 pages double spaced (5, Funny)

linzeal (197905) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487589)

What is this crap and why should I care? I have more books than I can possibly read in a lifetime and I would wager 90% of them have more meat on their bones than this book. This reminds me of the 90's schlocksellers like the Tao of Pooh and Physics which ruined the topics of both pooh and physics for years to come. Pastafarianism of Perl, now that is a book I would read.

By the way remember this

Circa 1999

You:
  Oh, did you read they discovered the top quark [wikipedia.org] at Fermilab?

Random Girl in bar:
  No, what is a quark?

You:
  {QED QCD explanations in a bar at 1 am. You know in your undergrad heart of hearts this is what women want to hear}

Random Girl in bar:
  Sounds like Taoism to me. Have you read the Tao of Physics, it is a great book. It tells about how the Chinese knew about all that stuff thousands of years ago.

You:
  What? No they didn't, the standard model of physics is not something that can be partitioned up into dualities for the purposes of serving some crackpot theory.

30 minutes later at home alone waiting for your dial up modem to get online so you can troll for porn on your isp's NNTP servers. Remember when ISP's had their own NNTP servers?

       

Re:32 dollars for 112 pages double spaced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26488155)

what kind of ridiculous imagined conversation is that?

Re:32 dollars for 112 pages double spaced (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26488239)

It's not. It's an autobiography.

Re:32 dollars for 112 pages double spaced (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26488275)

The kind us nerds make up to make us feel better.

don't ask a spark-E (1, Informative)

stokessd (89903) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487609)

SOA == Safe Operating Area

Don't toast those MOSFETs

Sheldon

SOA? Ah.. Unix philosophy. Whats old is new again (5, Insightful)

hoggoth (414195) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487727)

I was reading the SOA wiki page wonder what the hell they were blabbering about. Then I got it.

It's the old Unix ideal of having many small tools each doing a small job well, and being able to easily tie those tools together into chains (or dare I say pipes) to achieve results.

Except now instead of it being simple, there are committees, XML schemas, and trade shows. This will help it's success by allowing high priced consultants to participate.

Re:SOA? Ah.. Unix philosophy. Whats old is new aga (1)

SpuriousLogic (1183411) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489295)

While I agree that it is a bit like the way that UNIX tools were built, SOA deals with heterogeneous and distributed environments that are built around business function. The largest misconception I run across about SOA is that it is a technical architecture built around webservices, so in that respect the UNIX comparison holds. However, any SOA approached in this manner will fail, 100%. SOA deals not just with technical processes but also business. In that respect, there is nothing that holds the promise that SOA currently does for a large, flexible system that allows business to decide what they want to do vs being constrained by their existing technical solutions.

great, more buzzword books! (2, Informative)

nimbius (983462) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487761)

ive noticed when i preface my technical explanation with the words 'service oriented architecture' i am immediately rewarded with funding approval.

the only zen in this is that neither of us understands entirely why this works.

Re:great, more buzzword books! (1)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488127)

I've noticed when i preface my technical explanation with the words 'service oriented architecture' i am immediately rewarded with funding approval.

That has to be the most useful piece of information on SOA I have seen yet.

You really should put that in a book and sell it.

Not a review, more of a brief summary (3, Insightful)

bwalling (195998) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487787)

You didn't tell me anything I couldn't skim in a bookstore. You've summarized each chapter into two sentences and said you recommend the book. Spend a little more time providing a critical evaluation - it would be helpful in getting people to decide whether to read the book.

She calls it female intuition... (1)

Ralph Spoilsport (673134) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487833)

I call it BULLSHIT.

/montyPython

How About the Zen of S.O.L. (1, Offtopic)

Prototerm (762512) | more than 5 years ago | (#26487853)

The way jobs and the economy is going into the toilet nowadays, I think this would be a much more appropriate topic.

Wow (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26487915)

I can't believe all the oh so great Know-It-Alls of Slashdot don't know what Microsoft's #1 push in business architecture is right now.

You should put define the acronym!

Pull your nose out of your OSS asses and at least pay attention to what the competition is doing.

Yeah mod me troll if you want.

Re:Wow (1)

d3l33t (1106803) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488075)

I was actually thinking the same thing. 'SOA' has been around for quite some time and i'm surprised to see such a cold reaction, when in all honesty business is waiting for a more streamlined process for handling data communications.

SoA (1)

eedwardsjr (1327857) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488159)

Heck, I thought it meant School of the Americas. Living in Columbus, GA (USA), we get these fruitloops down here every year protesting: http://www.soaw.org/ [soaw.org]

Zen of SOA / Art Of War (2, Insightful)

Digital Mage (124845) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488263)

I didn't see a section devoted to governance of SOA because without a strong IT Department your "Zen of SOA" will quickly become the "Art of Interdepartment War" as each division of the company will try to control or influence the service if they they have to connect to it. A strong IT Department can push back on the other departments for the greater good of the company and force departments with rogue apps to eventually use the services.

What's the problem? (1)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488455)

localhost. root.localhost. ( 1 3600 1200 3600000 86400 ) always worked just fine for me. Why complicate things by throwing an MP3 player into the mix?

SOA = ? (1)

ubikkibu (544498) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488497)

The more I read, the more glad I was that the idiot poster never defined "SOA." I still don't know what it is, and I like it that way.

Re:SOA = ? (1)

ErkDemon (1202789) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489047)

It's about packaging and repackaging everything in the IT world as derivative "services". The idea is that the end-user finds it easier to buy prepackaged services (and services that are bundles of other prepackaged services) than a miscellaneous range of things that they don't necessarily understand. Repackaged "derivative" products are supposed to be easier to sell.

You know, kinda like the banking sector did with mortgages recently.

STD's have a Zen now? (1, Informative)

Meph0 (1024431) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488515)

It's the Dutch acronym for an STD...

Re:STD's have a Zen now? (0, Troll)

Racemaniac (1099281) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489195)

bloody hell, you beat me to it
i was also a bit amazed by the title, until i realised it's only the dutch acronym ^^

SOA for SOBs (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26488823)

Bullshit bingo ahoy!!!

Don't you just love TLAs and marketese?

Truly impressive! (1)

Chris Mattern (191822) | more than 5 years ago | (#26488909)

You wrote 5k worth of review on a book about SOA while successfully avoiding giving the reader any clues as to what SOA might be. You even managed to avoid the trap of letting him know what the letters "SOA" stand for. Bravo, sir. Truly a Zen review.

There is a buzzword for that now? (1)

Saint Ego (464379) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489083)

"Service Oriented Architecture"? Really? There is a buzzword for that now?

If I spent less time writing code and more time reading about the latest trends, I'd stop to realize that I've been developing SOA for years now without ever even realizing it.

Is this that moment when I'm supposed to recognize that I'm actually standing on some type of "cutting edge" because it all just sounds like another remix of disparate systems with a client that says "make it all work together"...

Familiar Acronym (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#26489099)

School Of the Americas [wikipedia.org]

REST Please! (4, Informative)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489213)

As someone who thought SOA would be a good thing (meaning SOAP and XML) I can say without a doubt it sucks.

I am working on IHE (Integrating the Healthcare Enterprise) (Electronic medical records sharing) and I hate it. We are constantly dealing with the same stupid problems time and time again: XML mismatches.

Please, anyone developing for the cloud or SOA use REST [wikipedia.org] aka WOA [zdnet.com] (Web oriented architecture).

The difference is simple: Rather than use SOAP for everything, you match it to the usual HTTP paradigms (GET, POST, PUT, DELETE, with sensible URLs and HTTP headers).

The elimination of XML eliminates so many issues you will not believe. The best that I can tell is XML is a document, this document can be versioned, while HTTP is a protocol. You therefore eliminate a layer that has to be maintained.

For instance, the PirateBay uses REST-like inerface:
GET http://thepiratebay/browse/603 [thepiratebay] gives you the

whereas with SOAP you'd need to agree on a transaction name, XML schema, paramters. Then someone will decide that you need to support base64 encoded file uploads and downloads, so that'll have to go in the schema too. With REST you just use the standard HTTP headers...

Friends don't let friends develop SOAP.

MyZen of SOA (1)

kindbud (90044) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489237)

If you have no slaves, then your zone's SOA serial number, refresh, retry, expire and minimum fields don't matter.

All this time I though... (3, Insightful)

OneSmartFellow (716217) | more than 5 years ago | (#26489299)

... that SOA stood for Start Of Authority - as in the BIND name server configuration which inidcate that the config file is for a particular 'zone' (analogous to a domain name)

How disappointing to discover it something as loame as 'Service Oriented Architecture'. Tell me, do any of you have an architecture that is not 'Service Oriented', and if so, how do you use it, if your architecture isn't designed to accommodate/enable 'services' (i.e. functionality), what is its purpose.
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