In my opinion, SOA isn't an "ultimate goal" for organizations / IT departments anymore; it has rather become an enabler for modernization and digital transformation in the form of technologies such as: Mobile, Cloud Computing, API economy, hybrid architecture, BPM, etc. Furthermore, and contrary to what many predicted 5-10 years ago, service-orientation not only has remained in the mainstream, but it has even demonstrated its staying power by giving way to popular spinoffs such as Microservice Architecture.
This is something great for us SOA professionals, because it has coerced both the paradigm and its related tools into becoming highly dynamic, versatile, adaptable and business-driven as opposed to the monolithic nature of first-generation SOA implementations.
In the foreseeable future, it is very probable that many organization's focus will turn to Cloud Integration & API Management; with something very interesting being that this shift appears to be driven primarily by economics and market transformation rather than by pure IT. The hope is that this is going to generate a whole lot of great business opportunities, because here's where the money is gonna be for everyone involved.
Those are some of my thoughts
We've written about this topic a little bit in the OPAIM book chapter 2 I've shared with you. Please feel free to reference the chapter :). However below a more elaborate thought:
Just like Object Oriented Programming becoming the underpin building block for all modern languages and therefore the vast majority of applications (for all sort) we interact with today, SOA is evolving into becoming what it really was originally supposed to be: an architectural style to build solutions based on service orientation -not a technology stack.
For example Gartner talks about Applications Services Governance (ASG) when referring to API management tools (https://www.gartner.com/doc/2239615/govern-services-manage-apis-application). Reason being is that according to Gartner SOA and API Management is one market and not two. ASG is the convergence of the two. This hints to the point that SOA Practices must evolve into also covering API management capabilities but that's not all -far from it.
Although these new technologies are somehow related to traditional SOA tools, they are not the same. SOA practices MUST reinvent themselves and invest into up-skilling and cross-skilling their staff. SOA practices must also invest into internal marketing to advertise these new capabilities. If this doesn't happen -and quickly, there is a risk that new practices and groups will be created in support of these technologies and therefore will cannibalise the "old SOA practice".... it's time for change -a good change I would say.
Lastly but most importantly, SOA is far from dead. I would say it's now stablished just like OOP has been for several years now. People will just call it differently!
This is great timing. I’m currently very deep in an enterprise API Architecture and Vendor evaluation project for a client. As part of this engagement, I have evaluated and participated in a Dev Workshop with Axway, which is the API product Oracle OEM’s. I also evaluated Apigee, Mulesoft, CA, IBM, and Mashery.
It’s very interesting to understand how API’s differentiate from “Traditional Integration” or SOA. I think it’s best to say API Management differs more from “ESB” (Enterprise Service Bus), then from SOA, since most folks agree that SOA is an architecture approach that API’s aligns well to, but API Management is very different than ESB functionality.
· API Management is designed to be a “Proxy to the Outside World”. Exposing enterprise assets through externally exposed proxies for consumption by Mobile, Partners, Clients, and Cloud. It takes your existing Services, wraps them, applies policies, governs, manages, and allows you to put out functionality for better consumption.
· API’s makes the assumption that enterprise “Back-end” Integration already exists. Their tools assume you have already exposed your mainframes, ERP, CRM, etc. via webServices. If you haven’t done this, then API’s can’t help you much. They are not a replacement for ESB’s. However……
· Say goodbye to SOA Repositories. API Management has more extensive abilities to govern webServices, manage policies, rules, artifacts, etc.
· Say Hello to “Developer Portals”. Once you have API’s, Developer Portals allow your internal Dev shops, as well as your external Partners to consume API’s through Portals that expose the API’s, API documentation,
· API’s have awesome features for developing service policies, such as traffic throttling, creating service plans, security, managing consumers, managing performance, and monetizing on your API’s.
· Goodbye SOAP. It’s all about REST and JSON.
· If you haven’t already, there are some new standards for managing API’s (mostly through REST/JSON) such as Swagger, RAML, and Blueprint. They allow for API Contracts, and are the REST equivalent of WSDL. But, as SOAP is losing ground to REST, it’s best to familiarize with these 3 REST standards.
There’s more, but hope this helps your article.
Jordan Braunstein, PMP, CSM
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Because of the SOA vision and the values that it brings to the organizations, SOA has become not only one initiative among many others, but in my opinion ,it has become the initiative that allows others to exist and survive.
In terms of technology, Oracle has created such an interesting offering in the SOA/Integration space, as broad as you can imagine: from a very orthodox point of view to the newest and more disruptive initiatives, such as API management.
SOA arrived and now not only that we can say that it has last, but it will continue to be a good bet for IT in terms of having a well organized and modern enterprise. Imagine the APIs initiative without having an strong SOA discipline and infrastructure. Imagine the implementation of a Cloud integration project, without the principles of SOA.
SOA is a way of life for the consultants. Services are everywhere, and with this burst of Cloud, Mobile and API initiatives, SOA couldn't be in a better shape.
Could you be more specific regarding your comments about initiatives? When you mention "this burst of Cloud, Mobile, and API initiatives, are you talking about Oracle technologies, or about the general increase in interest and adoption of cloud, mobile, and APIs, or about projects in which you have been involved?
Good stuff. Thanks, Jordan.
Like many other IT buzzwords, SOA never delivered on its promise. Only well-managed IT organizations achieved an appropriate level of SOA governance, while way too many either built over-heavy architectures that were too cumbersome to use in practice, or disregarded governance and ended up with just another spaghetti architecture.
API management and to some extent microservices is going back to basics: I have a system that exposes a well-documented and managed API, and other systems to call that. And I need something to monitor SLAs and service usage. That's why the part of SOA that actually works in day-to-day practice is the Oracle Service Bus. Interestingly, Oracle has seen this as well, with OSB being the only SOA component sold on its own.
With the recent announcement of two new cloud services, Oracle SOA Cloud and Oracle API Manager Cloud, as part of its new Oracle Cloud Platform for Integration, the integration platform might be a game changer for our customers. They can take advantage of today’s cloud environment, while leveraging legacy and on-premise systems.
Prior to this announcement, integration between on-premise and cloud applications was limited to Oracle Integration Cloud or a custom on-premise integration solution. The Oracle SOA Cloud Service using Oracle SOA Suite as its foundation provides a flexible iPaaS option to quickly build integrations. With support for hybrid integration and the deployment portability feature, our customers can easily migrate from the cloud to on-premise, and back again, based on their business requirements.
With security being a priority for every customer, the new Oracle API Manager Cloud offers the ability to securely expose REST- and SOAP-based APIs. Securely exposing organization’s APIs to internal and external consumers can help create innovative interfaces for end users.
The additions to the Oracle Cloud Platform for Integration has made a hybrid cloud environment a real option. Our Customers now have a viable solution to best leverage cloud and on-premise solutions.
Thanks for the insight, Abhay.
I'm a bit surprised to see that your profile makes no mention of your ACE Associate status. Belated congratulations!