WOA vs. SOA?

If WOA is bomb, where is SOA?

Dana Gardner is for WOA, or Web Oriented Architecture, as mentioned in his most recent blog post. You can think of WOA as SOA meets the Web 2.0, but perhaps it's not that simple WOA may indeed lead to SOA, and evolve differently albeit using the same patterns. Let's get into this a bit.

As most of you know the process of dragging SOA and the Web together has been a crusade of mine for some time now. Now, it appears that this is occurring at a much faster pace. Indeed, if you look at the most successful SOA deployments, most are occurring on the Web, not within the enterprise. It does not matter to me if you call this "The Global SOA", "Web 2.0, or "WOA," as long as the core value is understood.

So, if WOA is bomb, where is SOA?

"The uptake of general-purpose service enablement is by no means a hockey stick trend line. The adoption patterns some five years into the SOA evolutionary path do not show a "slam dunk" demand effect. The role, impact and importance of SOA is, in fact, ambiguous ... still. Many see it as merely an offshoot of EAI, rather than a full-blown paradigm shift."

The ugly truth behind SOA, as we've discussed here many times and on the Podcast, is that it's a slow evolution not a revolution. It's complex, expensive, but typically worth it if you hang in there. However, hanging in there is something that US companies don't do well. Tactical issues often trumped strategic projects, in many instances, and thus SOA is slow on the uptake. So, Dana is correct...SOA slow, WOA fast. But, maybe they are solving the same problems.

"Meanwhile, some other trends that do demonstrate more of a hockey stick adoption pattern - social media, Ruby/Phython, RESTful interactions, and RIAs - are worth a fresh look in the context of SOA. The new kids on the innovation block are experimenting at break-neck speed with social media, social networking, Ruby on Rails, SaaS, Python, REST and the vital mix of rich Internet application (RIA) approaches."

Not sure this is anything new, as you know. Clearly, I made similar assertions speaking at several conferences about the synergy between the emerging Web and SOA. Others where doing the same thing.

"What's important to remember is that there is a huge resource that is being created on the Web these days. This includes access to SaaS applications, such as Salesforce.com, that are better than their enterprise bound counterparts, service marketplaces, such as StrikeIron, and even mash-able applications that you can mix and match with other Web 2.0 applications or enterprise applications to solve business problem quickly."

What is changing quickly is that enterprises are finding that the path of least resistance is in essence to build their SOAs on the Web, using Web resources, including content, internet delivered APIs, and Web services. Once there is success with WOA you'll see the same patterns emerging behind the firewall, or SOA. This is similar to the rise of intranet applications after the success of Internet/Web systems.

More from Dana:

"So who's on first, SOA or Web oriented architecture (WOA)? These Web-facing trends for the time being may remain outside the strict boundaries of enterprise IT - but they are of great interest to developers, ISVs, welling Web 2.0 services start-ups, and cloud compute purveyors.

These technologies and techniques are also clearly on the radar of forward-looking innovators inside of businesses large and small. Indeed, those non-IT influencers inside of corporations with a keen eye on the all-important Internet growth opportunity are the constituency to win over, and they are not sold on SOA."

Dana is right about that. In fact, I'm putting my money where my mouth is.

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