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.


  Free/Libre Open Source Societies
Chris Anderson published Free! Why $0.00 Is the Future of Business last month and it got me thinking about some of the business/technical associations I associate with.

Over the years, I've been a member of a few groups: IEEE, IASA, AJUG, NYJSIG, etc etc. I'm also familiar with some of the major professional organizations: PMI, OMG, IETF, W3C, JCP. Some of these were free (IETF, AJUG, NYJSIG) while others required membership dues (IEEE, OMG, PMI). Some started out free and transitioned to membership dues (IASA).

In some of these organizations, the membership fees very clearly show what they go towards. For example, in the IEEE, you get a magazine, group rates on health insurance, etc. In others, I'm not sure what the dues go for: IASA.

Specifically, for architecture and programming groups, I think that the price for admission should be free and have tiers for additional membership if you want magazines, keychains, etc. This will serve to increase membership while keeping leadership in a purely voluntary capacity.

So this ends up being more closely aligned with open source "societies" like the apache foundation where anyone can be part of the community, join listservs, register for conferences, etc.


Technical and personal notes from Brian Lee, technologist/enterprise architect/software developer/soa guy.

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Name: Brian Lee
Location: Atlanta, Georgia, United States


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