InfoWorld SOA Forum

Jon Udell posted some potential interesting discussion topics for the SOA Platform panel discussion at the InfoWorld SOA Executive Forum.
I am really looking forward to participating in this panel, not only because of the distinguished company I’ll be in, but also because for many businesses, investments in an SOA Platform based on Web services will solve significant IT problems and create strategic advantage. This is a great topic.
With respect to the question in Jon’s blog about standards and specifications, I am really not sure about the implication that the current Web services “stack” is designed for use in an SOA. (I put “stack” in quotes because the industry still does not have a single, consistent architecture for Web services. Microsoft and IBM are still promoting different versions, for example.)
Many of the specifications were developed before their application in an SOA was identified, and others were proposed more as features and functions needed for certain applications, whether part of an SOA or not. Many Web services applications need security, or reliabilty, even when they are solving a simple point to point interoperability problem.
I’d argue that most Web services technologies are generic, in other words, and not specific to their application in SOA infrastructure. It’s better to first define what’s needed for an SOA Platform based on the requirements of the SOA rather than working from what exists in current Web services specifications and assuming they provide what you need. This approach would also show us where the standards are insufficient for the purpose of an SOA platform, where features/functions are missing, etc.
Despite the fact that WSDL provides many of the things you need, it is not correct to assume that it is therefore equivalent to an SOA contract, for example.

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