Tuesday, January 10, 2006

TECH: Comparison of SOA & Web 2.0



The current momentum behind SOA and Web 2.0 architectures is very impressive and some analysts have been pointing out that these two paradigms share some common themes. Even further - it has been suggested that we are headed towards architectural singularity in the software industry. Well ultimately, Darwin will work all this out (unless you believe more in intelligent design) but this is going to play out faster than most would think. If this topic is of interest to you - I highly recommend you check out the power panel discussion on SOA at Syscon TV.

Both SOA and Web 2.0 encourage the liberation of the underlying functionality of software systems by providing open and easy access. Both embrace Web services and the aggregation of existing functionality into new solutions. But there are differences and some of the best practices found here should be leveraged to cross pollinate each paradigm.

Gartner,
recently said that by 2008 that 80% of all software development will be based on SOA. This indicated to me that SOA will undoubtedly play a greater role in delivering solutions that embrace the public internet and this will bring it into a crash course with the Web 2.0 paradigm. They will both need to work together and I believe that there are complementary synergies between these two powerful software approaches.

Comparing and Contrasting

Web 2.0 is all about autonomous, distributed services, remixability, and is fraught with ownership and boundary/control issues

  • Web 2.0 is free wheeling, decentralized, grassroots, and with absolutely no command and control structure
  • Web 2.0 is almost too informal and practically calls out for more discipline
  • Web 2.0 embraces people, collaboration and participation
  • Web 2.0 has architectures of participation, social mechanisms, folksonomies, real-time feedback
  • Web 2.0 is almost always based on OpenSource software (common stack is LAMP) and free APIs (SOAP, REST, RSS)
  • Web 2.0 has a focus on UI (AJAX, Ruby on Rails)
  • Web 2.0 has a “go fast” implementation model and evolves to be perfect over time through usage and feedback

SOA is all about, autonomous, distributed services, composite functionality, and is fraught with ownership and boundary/control issues

  • SOA is a mature view of software that eschews a technical view of processes, data and integration
  • SOA has central control, management, and governance (UDDI, WSDL, WS-Policy)
  • SOA encourages a common vocabulary across systems (XML Schema) and can use the language of the domain (for example: common definitions of customers, order, channel, product)
  • SOA has enterprise strength mechanisms for discovery, messaging, metadata exchange, security, notification and quality of service (QoS)
  • SOA is best implemented using commercial vendor platforms (WebSphere, Seebeyond, TIBCO, Sonic, IONA)
  • SOA supports and overarching view of a process (using orchestration and choreography) and has standards for building this in a robust manner (BPEL, BAM)
  • SOA tends to not cover UI but this is possibly changing with AJAX and Portlets (WSRP)
  • SOA has a “go conservative” implementation model and will try and be enterprise quality at launch.
  • SOA is an evolution and the benefits are realized over time as services become more pervasive and enable business value, business agility and reduced TCO.

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