Monday, February 23, 2009

Big SOA is Dead, Little SOA is Thriving

I somewhat agree with Anne Thomas Manes SOA is Dead, but I think it is more appropriate to claim: "Big SOA is Dead; Little SOA is Thriving".

What do I mean by this?

I think BPM, BAM, and ESB initiatives (i.e. Big SOA) are suffering from being large, complex, and somewhat bloated efforts to gaining SOA momentum. Customers want rapid results. They want quick services, quick ROI, they want [sic] SOA Today. That translates to lightweight SOA that is simple and digestible without having to buy or learn an entire software suite or vendor tool platform just to get your first 50 services out the door. This is Little SOA. Tools that can rapidly create services in minutes, rather than months.

Now before I get Savvion, Lombardi, and other BPM player lining up to slice me to virtual pieces, I will precursor by saying BPM, BAM, and ESB are still necessary in an SOA Architecture...just not necessary to start and progress your first chapter of your SOA Journey. Take any of the 1,000 SOA maturity models out there, and the first step is to create services, right? So, why invest in Big SOA to start? The capabilities of these Big SOA tools like BPM, BAM, and ESB can be delayed for 6-9 months, possibly even a good year until your business requires these efforts. How does that sound to your 2009 budget! Finally, some good news! Application-to-Application and Composite Application consumption of business services can thrive without these Big SOA tools; however, there is a caveat that Business Process Automation (BPM, Workflow, BAM) will have to wait-- sorry, Little SOA isn't perfect!

As you can see, my proclomation favors a bottoms-up or middle-out strategy in developing services, as opposed to Top-Down and modeling all your business processes before defining your servcies. If you had asked me 6 months ago, I would have told you Bottoms up is bad and that all your business processes need to be defined before you start mapping activities to services. And, Top-Down is certainly a viable academic approach. It's just not practical. Especially in today's economic climate. Think about how time consuming BPM is, and most CIO's will not buy-into this 1-2 year Top-Down BPM investment. Most CIO's only last a couple of years at each job stop , so they don't want to do BPM on their dime. How can you blame them when it takes an large time and monetary investment to model As-Is and To-Be processes, not to mention standaridzation, education, and maintenance? Although Big SOA maybe the more academically powerful approach, my customers just don't have the patience for Big SOA. They want [sic] SOA Today!

To summarize, buying an SOA software stack for $500kk-$1M+ is not starting small! Organizations can not afford these Big SOA products anyhow in 2009. Gartner and IDC will certainly agree that you don't start with an ESB in your SOA Journey, so you can buy your SOA stack when you are more knee deep into your SOA project and the capabilities are required. (Hey, I'm just echoing analyst sentiment!) However, you do need something to get your services out the door and for the beginners to get off the SOA sidelines. Think long and hard by making investments into Little SOA products to start, and then you can realize the value of being simple, rapid, agile, and most importantly AFFORDABLE.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Who am I?

This blog was originally started in August 2008, and this post is a re-post of the first content I published on back in August 2008, the date when this blog was orginally invented. Please keep in mind that the views, opinions, and recomendations of this blog are soley those of Jordan Braunstein. This blog is not associated with any company and is the personal blog of Jordan Braunstein. User comments on this blog and content will only be addressed during non-business hours, so not to interfere with my daily work tasks -- thanks for your understanding!

Finally! Finally off my tuchus and starting a blog. As the saying goes, long time listener, first time caller. My blog will be centered around an industry that I have consulted in for many years, Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). This term SOA means so many things to so many people, so I will cover all the expansive definitions and applications, but my main goal is to make SOA simple, digestable, and easy to implement! An IT paradigm that is easy?...holy cow!

Through my trials and tribulations, I've encountered enough organizations frustrated with SOA to believe I need to tell them (and the greater Universe as well) how SOA can be easy (so easy a caveman can do it!). You just have to do it the right way, and many organizations don't start the right way...but that's ok...I know how to fix things that have gone down the wrong path, and it doesn't involve taking a magic pill....but sometimes they do call me the Wolf (Pulp Fiction).

So, this blog will be an information source for how to make SOA simple (since I am a practitioner in reductionism!).

For you curious minds, here is my background, and credentials:

I've been in the SOA, EAI, B2Bi, Legacy Modernization space for just over 11 years (time flys when your having fun...). I've worked with roughly 100 customers and partners advising and implementing integration implementations that have positive business results. I've seen the trends, buzz, and flavors the day come and go. Ultimately, I know how to get business excited about IT solutions and for good reason-- IT does matter! It is an enabler!

I ventured into SOA (EAI back in 1998) as the first East Coast consultant for Active Software (think Brokers and adapters), worked a # of years for webMethods as a field Architect (think EAI, B2Bi, Mainframe integration) after Active Software was acquired by webMethods; I free-lanced as an SOA Architect for a number of years helping customers with building sound architecture and governance; I started BearingPoint Public Service's SOA practice (focus on Federal clients, but some State and Higher Ed too), and now I am working with customers to ensure sound SOA, EA, and BPM practices.

I look forward to collaberating with others, and feel free to contact me with any comments, questions, concerns, or complaints.

Thanks for reading and enjoy!