It seems like just the other day that our team was busily finishing the first edition of SOA for Dummies. But it was two years ago since that book came out. A lot has change in that time. When we first wrote the book, we heard from lots of people that they really didn’t know what SOA was and were happy to have a book that would explain it to them in easy to understand language.
Because so much has changed, we were asked to write a second edition of SOA for Dummies which is coming out on December 19th. What has changed in those two years? Well, first of all, there have been a lot more implementations of SOA. In fact, in that edition, we were happy to have gotten 7 case studies. Many of the customers that we talked (both that were featured in the book and those who took the time to speak with us without attribution) were just getting started. They were forming centers of excellence. They were beginning to form partnerships between the business and technical sides of their companies. They were implementing a service bus or were building their first sets of services.
In this second edition, we were fortunate to find 24 companies across 9 different verticals willing and able to talk on the record about their experiences implementing SOA. What did we learn? While there is a lot I could say, I’d like to net it out to 5 things we learned:
1. Successful companies have spent the time starting with the both the key business services and business process before even thinking about implementation.
2. Companies have learned a lot since their initial pilots. They are now focused on how they can increase revenue for their companies through innovation using a service oriented approach.
3. Many companies have a strategic roadmap that they are focused on and therefore are implementing a plan in an incremental fashion.
4. A few companies are creating business services extracted from aging applications. Once this is done, they are mandating the use of these services across the company.
5. Companies that have been working on SOA for the last few years have learned to create modular business services that can have multiple uses. This was much harder than it appeared at first.
There are many other best practices and lessons learned in the case studies. It is interesting to note just as many companies that said yes also were not able to participate because management felt that they didn’t want competitors to know what they were doing.
The bottom line is that SOA is beginning to mature. Companies are not just focused on backbone services such as service buses but on making their SOA services reach out to consumers and their business partners.
We have also added a bunch of new chapters to the book. For example, we have new chapters on SOA service management; SOA software development, software quality, component applications, and collaboration within the business process lifecycle. Of course, we have updated all existing chapters based on the changes we have seen over the last few years.
We are very excited that we had the opportunity to update the book and look forward to continuing the dialog.