Rome

Finally the first rain of the trip – in Edinburgh of course, where I landed a few hours ago for the W3C AC meeting.
But I haven’t yet finished the entry for Rome.
I haven’t done a very good job of getting the blog entries in order. I was in Milan on Sunday and Monday but I didn’t finish the entry until Thursday. It seems better to publish them on the date I finish them rather than on the date I start them, but then that puts the entries out of sequence. I guess I’ll do a summary at the end.
The purpose of the visit to Rome was a meeting with some architects from Enel to discuss SOA.
Our sales folks in Rome are very effecient and each of the three guys we met with Thursday had a copy of the book I wrote with Greg. So I spent the first few minutes of the meeting personalizing and signing each copy. They were very kind and complementary about the book, saying that the information was very pertinent to what they are doing.
A lot of the discussion ended up being about best practices, not technology, so I recommended Enterprise SOA to them in addition to our book. In fact Amazon.com often pairs this book with ours in a discount offer and the complement each other well.
But anyway, the reason it came up is that Enterprise SOA includes a lot of detail about the famous Credit Suisse SOA (something I mention in nearly every discussion about SOA since so much of what we – as an industry I mean – know about SOA is derived from their experience) and others.
The book Greg and I wrote maps SOA and Business Process Management concepts to Web services technologies, and identifying gaps. But this is really a kind of secondary step in SOA. The first step is to figure out what you are going to do, and how you are going to do it. Only then do you need to start looking at technology – and Web services are the best we have for SOA today.
I believe it is a positive thing for the IT industry that it is recognized that SOA is not a technology, and that it is something you have to figure out for yourself. In other industries it is the consumer or the buyer who figures out what he or she needs and then tells the suppliers. That is what the widespread adoption of SOA is doing for IT. An IT supplier cannot do the SOA for the consumer – the consumer has to do it for him or herself, and this means that the industry is not going to be technology driven much longer.

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