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Monday, 21 January 2008

Faceless SOA

Recent coverage under the heading “Corizon sets new SOA perspectives” seems to have caused some consternation. It triggered a letter from Tim Holyoake at SoftwareAG in the December print edition of Information Age (seemingly not available on-line) complaining that

“[The article] gives the impression that Web 2.0 user interface concepts are a panacea for delivering effective and usable applications to end-users. … The consideration of application users' interface needs to form part of the whole, not an alternative. The key message is that one crucial point must be considered when the SOA delivery approach is chosen, regardless of whether Web 2.0-style user interfaces are deployed or not: effective SOA governance must be in place from day one.“

Absolutely! Effective architectures need a well thought out and implemented approach to governance.

The question to ask is this: if software services underpinned by governance are key to allowing re-use and agility with control, why don’t those concepts need to apply to the user interface? An SOA that only talks in terms of services that provide data and logic puts the creation of UI fully in the hands of the consumer, with every chance of the poor results summed up by Geek and Poke...

UI must be built each time it is needed, with no possibility of re-use, consistency or control and all existing investments in UI must be thrown away. That doesn’t seem like making UI “part of the whole” in terms of SOA.

The Corizon vision is to close this gap, allowing services to provide re-usable self describing UI as well as their more familiar data, in a secure, safe, governed fashion. So we agree, it’s just that we think governance and re-use need to go further.

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