SD West: Understanding SOA

First up: Mike Rosen presented Understanding SOA. This talk was oriented very much towards enterprise developers who areconcerned with automation of business processes -- in some ways, adifferent world from where I operate most of the time.  Mike'sdefinition of SOA is pretty much what either Microsoft or IBM areoffering as platforms (.NET or J2EE plus SOAP).  Their main sellingpoint seems to be that once everything is exposed as web services,business analysts will be able to create and manage business processesby configuring services via graphical tools rather than by writing codeor even scripts.  (This syncs up with the presentation later on by DaveChappell.)  I am skeptical, but then again the problems thesedevelopers have are not my problems.

Quick takes: Mike stated that UDDI is not used much outside thecorporate firewall (my personal prediction: It never will be in itscurrent form.)  IBM and MSoft are repurposing existing applications,such as Tivoli, to help manage corporate web service networks.  I askedabout interoperability; monitoring and development tools based on oneof the "big two" platforms will have a difficult time interoperatingwith the other, though the web services themselves should be able torun on either platform with "some data mapping."

The most interesting statements: Dave Chappell mentioned after the talkthat things like security will only have shipping implementations in2006 and reliable messaging doesn't have a final spec yet.  Also, on atotally random tangent, I overheard someone behind me saying "XSLTmakes all those lies about 'you can do anything with pointy brackets'true!".

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