Thursday, April 24, 2008

How you know its SOA

Over on the Yahoo SOA list there has been a discussion on how you know if a solution is service oriented. Now beyond the superb OASIS SOA Reference Model I'd say there is a very simple test.
  1. Do you have the SOA "picture"
  2. Can you map the picture to the implementation?
  3. Can you map the picture to how its operated?
  4. Can you map the picture to how you are organised?
What I mean by the picture is something like this

Now this is quite a high level picture but if that implementation was truly service oriented then I'd expect to see these services made available with interfaces as defined by the picture. This would mean its an implemented SOA (SOD IT). If in the operation of the system you can show how each of these services is managed as a specific entity and how it is managed inline with its KPIs and Priorities (e.g. like the Manufacturing Service) then its an operational SOA (SOO?). Finally if you can show how the organisation is set up around those business services then you can really say that you are service oriented in your bones.

Looking at the technology isn't the place to see if you are really doing SOA, you've got to look at the architecture before you know that.

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