Lots of discussion in the past few weeks about the gap between REST/POX/Web2.0 and SOA/WS-*:
- Daryl Plummer stoked the fire with his Web Services at a Crossroads piece.
- Tim Bray suggests “Web Style” is a better moniker than “REST”. He also suggests the label “Web Service” should be taken out back and shot (haha).
- Joe McKendrick agrees that the SOA hype has gotten out of hand.
- Dion Hinchcliffe is still trying the align the two approaches and references yet-another-Gartner-acronym, “WOA” – Web Oriented Architecture.
- Tim Bray finally sums it all up by reiterating that he thinks this really is very important.
Thats a lot of clever folks trying to figure out how WOA will fit into the enterprise. It does seem likely to happen given past trend of internet technologies migrating into enterprises but at this early stage nobody seems to have a clear idea of exactly how, where and when.
I’m not suggesting that it will lead to the death of WS-*, too many large organizations have invested too much in WS-* for it to go away any time soon.
It is also interesting that nobody has yet mentioned how early WOA adapters will end up with a JBOWS architecture instead of a WOA, as has happened to some early SOA adapters. WOA doesn’t seem to offer anything to help alleviate this tendancy – if anything it may well suffer from it even more.
They also need to figure out how WOA will fit into developers and IT departments hands – they won’t get far without better development and management tooling.
Don Box wrote a while back asking for suggestions on how to split a hypothetical $100 budget to best improve the Microsoft HTTP/XML/REST platform. That Don hasn’t yet provided his own solution to the problem suggest that a) it isn’t as easy as he thought or b) MS don’t want to give too much advice away to their competitors Either way, there’s an opportunity for some clever Eclipse folks to get their thinking caps on and produce a WOA tools platform, maybe targetting the huge LAMP server platform.
My guess is, in the time honoured tradition of software engineering, someone will produce a new “architecture” layer that sits on top of both SOA and WOA, and over a long period or time one of the architectures will capture the magical point-of-no-return mindshare. Maybe the SaaS (Software as a Service) banner will evolve into that role?