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4 Common SOA Myths

        posted by , June 09, 2011

SOA is a set of design principles for business and integration services. SOA design principles ensure that services are highly flexible and reusable.

SOA is a widely deployed, proven architectural approach. It's this popularity that has generated a few common myths:

1. SOA versus ESB

There are several common misconceptions about SOA & ESB:

SOA and ESB are competitive technologies

SOA and ESB are the same

ESB is required for SOA


The fact is that SOA and ESB are complementary technologies. ESB is a tool that can implement two of SOA's design patterns: loose coupling of services and service discoverability.

In other words, ESB is a useful tool when you're building a SOA but it's not mandatory for SOA.

2. SOA versus BPM

One common architectural myth is that SOA and BPM are competitive technologies. SOA and BPM are in fact complementary. BPM are often used to orchestrate SOA services. In some cases, the opposite is done — SOA services invoke BPM flows.

3. SOA was a Fad

Some commentators have remarked that SOA was over-hyped. Others have claimed that SOA is out of favor with architects – that it's been relegated to history.

The fact is that SOA's design principles are well established. Most have been around for more than 10 years. Its unlikely SOA's principles will ever fall out of favor. With time they may be repacked with new architectural approaches. They may be rebranded under a new name — the term SOA may well fade. However, SOA's principles such as the loose coupling of services are fundamental laws of architecture (not a passing fad).

4. SOA is Expensive (over-engineering)

Some SOA projects are over-engineered, others are not. There's nothing about SOA principles that should add cost to projects. In fact, SOA projects tend to be cheaper and faster. SOA generally increases the reusability of services.

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