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SOA...Where can I buy one?

By Steve Simmerman | 10/08/2009 | 3:49 PM

If it was only that easy! How is it that we went from a world a few years ago where virtually no software vendors spoke of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture), to a world where nearly every software vendor out there hypes an SOA message today?  Is it buzzword compliance at work?  Did everyone finally catch the latest software marketing wave and decide to ride it?  Did they fear getting left behind?  If only there was a CARFAX ® for software.


Let’s face it; most applications marketed today have been around for some time since they were originally written.  Like a pre-owned car, no matter how good it looks on the outside, you need to look carefully under the hood.  Sure a new paint job, or new stereo make the car look better, just like many software enhancements.  But has the underlying frame (architecture) really been re-built with today’s standards in mind?  Wouldn’t it be great to buy a CARFAX ® - like report for a software application and know its complete history?  How many owners it has had?  What the service records have to say about it?  Who the original owners were and why they sold it?  Is this the last year for this model before a new, re-styled, re-engineered model is announced next year?


SOA is an approach, an architecture; it is not something you buy in a box.  As with a car purchase, when you are looking to purchase software that “is SOA” - make sure you look under the hood, do your homework, take it for a

test drive.  Have your technicians really dig into the engine and transmission.


There are tremendous benefits to be realized with SOA, make no doubt about that.  Arming your team with some research on SOA is a great way to start.  David Linthicum ( http://davidlinthicum.sys-con.com) writes an excellent blog on SOA and has some terrific advice and lessons learned on all aspects of SOA.  Check out his blog regarding SOA myths - http://www.infoworld.com/d/architecture/4-soa-myths-busted-715.  There are a lot of great supply chain applications out there, and many of the newer ones are truly SOA – that’s the good news.  When buying applications with SOA in mind, remind yourself to really look under the hood and ask the tough questions - you'll be glad you did in the long run.


What is your experience regarding SOA hype versus the reality of SOA?  Have you realized your SOA objectives?  Did you achieve your ROI?  I’d love get your feedback and experience on SOA.  Feel free to comment on this blog or send me an email at [email protected].

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About Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman

Steve Simmerman is a Senior Director with JDA. Simmerman has more than 25 years of experience in the supply chain industry including software, consulting and material handling. He has focused his efforts on working with clients to achieve high performance supply chain results through partnerships and creative solutions. He is a member of CSCMP, WERC, and MHIA and is a regular contributor to several industry publications and events. Simmerman holds his undergraduate and MBA degrees from The University of Notre Dame.


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