SOA Is Not EA 2.0

If you’re looking for insightful comments or ideas then give this post a miss.

Part of the attraction of having a blog is you can have the occasional rant. It would be naïve to think that anyone reads (much less cares about) these rants – but putting things in writing is a cleansing experience that everyone should indulge in every once in a while. So here goes…

I hate the term “Web 2.0”. I couldn’t think of a more meaningless moniker. The Internet is not versioned. It’s not twice as good as it used to be. Not twice as big. And living in Australia I can tell you it’s not twice as fast. Sure, a range of new uses and applications have sprung up but it’s still the same Internet.Not sure where the term originated but I assumed it came from newly minted ‘new media’ business school graduates. Since I’m not in the “assumptions” business I thought I’d try and find out for sure. Seconds into my quest I came across a site that wa explaining how to create web site template for a Web 2.0 sites. After I stopped shaking my head I decided that in this instance I’ll go with my assumption and call it a day.For reasons I cannot comprehend there seems to be a “SOA vs. EA” mentality developing. With SOA billed as the relevant fresh young upstart and EA the old, stale has-been. It’s as though SOA is trying to crown itself “EA 2.0”. OK, maybe a little farfetched. But not much.

Thinking about it, there are some similarities between the Web 2.0 phenomenon and the SOA movement:

  • SOA has brought ‘architecture’ to the masses – much like Web 2.0 gave millions of people new reasons to use the Internet.
  • The huge publicity/hype of SOA and Web 2.0
  • Both SOA and Web 2.0 are nothing new – they are a new take on an old concept.
  • Depending on who you ask Web 2.0 may also be called Bubble 2.0. The SOA trend is displaying bubble-esque characteristics and it’s only a matter of time before it hits the “trough of disillusionment”

These are just a few off the top of my head – you may be able to think of more.

I don’t know where this “SOA vs. EA” idea came from but everyone in the enterprise architecture field needs to nip this argument in the bud. There is nothing to be gained from us arguing amongst ourselves in front of ‘The Business” about who is right. Surely we’re smarter than that.

SOA and EA are not competing concepts. They are complimentary – each one feeds into the other. SOA is not “next generation EA”. It doesn’t replace EA anymore than Web 2.0 will replace the original ‘Internet’. SOA is a subset of EA. It’s that simple.

Hopefully in time people will stop talking about SOA and get back to talking about “architecture”. For me, that day cant come soon enough. I wouldn’t mind if “Web 2.0” disappeared from the lexicon either.


One Response to SOA Is Not EA 2.0

  1. EA is about realizing the business strategy and developing a future state enterprise architecture model together with a roadmap of strategic business and IT initiatives to achieve the vision and target operating model.
    Introducing the concepts of a business service and an application service to the business areas is typically one of the first of those initiatives. Once the business understand the value of thinking in terms of services, then the EA roadmap can introduce SOA as a technology enabler to deliver services in practice. This can be a long journey and without EA, SOA will be seen as a bottom up techie fad rather than something of value. I’ve seen several successful SOA pilots that didn’t lead to the widespread use of SOA simply because it wasn’t grounded in the Strategy and Enterprise Architecture first.

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