He [Accenture CTO Donald Rippert] described the four phases of SOA implementation, which begins at using XML as an interface, then implementing legacy systems as Web services, and then using an ESB to connect Web services and use composite processes. The fourth phase involves using BPEL (Business Process Execution Language for Web Services) in which a business application is revised by making changes to the process model rather than the code.
But SOA, for the most part, is not enabling this yet, said Rippert. "Maybe someday, but not today; I don't see it today," Rippert said.
Wow its still impressively wrong. Hands up everyone who has seen BPEL used in a commercial environment? Does that feel like the fourth and final phase of SOA to you? No me neither. This really is dreadful advice on what SOA is and what SOA maturity is about. I've worked with customers where their first technical SOA project was all about using BPEL (without an ESB) to do something where that made sense.
You can take what Mr Rippert is saying and easily replace WS and XML for some other basic form and an EAI tool, then have that EAI tool be the ESB and put a process engine on the EAI suite. In other words his vision is from a functional and conceptual perspective equivalent to EAI.
If SOA, or any IT change, is just about a series of three and four letter technical words then it will deliver almost no benefits. So has to be about changing the way people think or its pointless.