SOA Versus Web 2.0?

Talk about timing, I wrote yesterday that SOA is dead and today on Memorandum I see a post from John Hagel from a few days ago examining the web 2.0 vs. SOA debate that is quietly raging on. As a bonus, John mentions my web 2.0 wiki in the post. This is my new “thing” because I think it’s one of the single most important debates to be having in enterprise software, SOA isn’t an application for end users and web 2.0 is a hell of a lot more than mashups.

As I indicated in my previous posting, a cultural chasm separates these two technology communities, despite the fact that they both rely heavily on the same foundational standard – XML. The evangelists for SOA tend to dismiss Web 2.0 technologies as light-weight “toys” not suitable for the “real” work of enterprises. The champions of Web 2.0 technologies, on the other hand, make fun of the “bloated” standards and architectural drawings generated by enterprise architects, skeptically asking whether SOAs will ever do real work.

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3 thoughts on SOA Versus Web 2.0?

  1. Jeff, you are probably aware by now that ebdex plans to bring an EIPP product into market as a SaaS solution in Q2/3 06. We have developed the system using SOA, which allows re-use of services. I am not a techie (forgive me!!), but my understanding is that this allows presentation, application and database layers to be independent. The bottom line is we will be able to switch from one database to another in the future to support our growth forecasts. I would therefore not quite right off SOA. Regards, Manoj

  2. sounds a lot like client/server to me… with a bunch of new buzzwords to replace “4gl”, “objects”, and “RAD”

  3. While I understand and appreciate both technologies, I don’t understand the debate or the comparisons.

    I think that we should be talking about SOA *and* Web 2.0, discussing the areas where “Web 2.0” (what an awful term!) technologies can address Enterprise problems (haven’t seen many yet).

    SOA has grown out of the desire/need to handle specific problems that arise from building complex, interrelated systems. This is a different problem space than that which has given rise to Web 2.0 technologies. People who do not understand this distinction are ill equipped to discuss SOAs.

    What irritates me about Web 2.0 evangelists is their “technology looking for an application” mentality. This attitude is what led to the .com idiocy of thinking that anything to do with the Web could do everything from information sharing to taking the chickweed out of your lawn. The Web 2.0 hype has me feeling deja vu all over again.

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