No Cost SOA
One of my clients came to me a few weeks ago with an interesting challenge: They want enterprise SOA, but have no money. This client is an extremely federated organization with multiple IT groups all receiving their own funding.

There's definitely a need for enterprise SOA (governance, infrastructure, practices) but no authority to back anything official.

So in light of these restrictions, we're thinking of a two-pronged approach to assisting SOA efforts:

  1. Try to convince IT authorities of need for formal SOA
  2. Collaboratively create SOA practice and standard recommendations that development groups can follow.

Step 1 involves building business cases, roadmap documents and other goodies that help convince those in power that it is worth spending money on SOA.

Step 2 involves documentation developed by the various IT groups building SOA around the organization. These documents include a service development lifecycle recommendation, service definition process recommendation, governance recommendtion and interoperability best practices recommendation. These documents are to be developed in a collaborative fashion (think wiki) and will be the self-selecting SOA community's guide for how to develop and use services.

Step 2 certainly has challenges (who will make people follow the recommendations- answer no one), but should move the organization closer to full SOA while cutting down on the chaos. I like step 2 because it gives an answer to the "no funds paralysis" that makes some architects think that SOA is hopeless.

I'll post updates as to how these approaches end up working.


I agree with your comments as unfortunately, dropping a SOA Registry/ repository into an organisation is just the start of the overall implementation costs- I didn't get budget approval either!

Even if it's a trial version of HP's Systinet (to prove the concept) or a darling of the open source community such as W02 Registry / Sun Registry / MuleSource Galaxy. You need a vm to run it and time from business people to develop/enforce the polices; and of course integrating the current (.NET/Java) development cycle to push the artefacts into the registry ready for approval....

I haven't given up on this being widely adopted in my company..
I didn't put this in the initial post, but we're just using an intranet site with standard web search as a no cost registry. The idea is that once enough service stewards share information, it will provide justification to purchase a registry system (enforce governance, metrics, advanced search, etc etc)
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Name: Brian Lee
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States


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