Tuesday, March 01, 2005

How do you define a Service ?

I've been using various tools from different vendors over the past 12 months, all claim that they are for "Service Oriented Architecture" and yet none have an effective way to define what a service is.

Some, like BEA's Weblogic Platform or the unbelivably large install of WBI-SF 2GB for godsake, provide a software container (BeeHive for BEA and WS-IF for IBM) but these are really developer tools rather than architecture tools to define a service. The objective of a service definition should be to define a discreet boundary within a system, this should then be de-composable into further services which can be co-ordinated together. The key is that service comes before process. Most of these tools (especially ones like WBI-Modeller) stress a "Visual COBOL" approach to systems design where the process is more important than the service....

So when vendors say they do SOA, right now every one I've seen means "We do Process Oriented Architecture", it was wrong with COBOL, and its still wrong now.

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