OOPSLA’07: The Future of SOA

Yet another panel at OOPSLA discussed SOA, this one entitled “The Future of SOA: What worked, what didn’t and where is it going from here”. Nothing really new came up, compared to the other discussions.

However worth mentioning was Linda Northrop statement that SOA is not an architecture, rather an architectural style at best. Her observation was that SOAs big promise is interoperability, while it forgets all other architectural aspects. My interpretation of this is that the importance of interoperability has been grossly overemphasized while important architectural issues such as quality of service and security is not properly addressed.

Another insight that I got from the panel was that you should not try to build transactions across services, as this will make the services tightly coupled. This was best formulated by Nicolai M. Josuttis, which suggested that instead of using transactions, compensations should be used.