Thursday, 18 October 2012

What is Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) - Competitive Services

I have been reviewing ITIL 3 with a view to updating my article on Service Management, and came across the notion of competitive services.

This is a very common notion when one looks at services in the usual, non-SOA sense where services are being offered in a market place and have to compete, but does it apply to SOA?

Well, clearly if you are looking at services offered in the internet by companies engaged in Cloud computing and such like, e.g. Google or Amazon, the answer is yes, but what about your typical corporate enterprise landscape?

I think the answer is still yes, but for different reasons.

Outside a corporation you expect multiple service providers to offer similar services, and to compete in terms of functionality, but within a corporation, the whole point of SOA is to eliminate redundancy, so we're not expecting there to me more than one service of any particular kind.

No, within a corporation, services are competing not against each other, but against the old way of building software. There is still a fair bit of resistance out there to the services way of doing software. Its a bit like recycling: wonderful concept in theory, after all who does not want to save the world? But the minute it gets inconvenient for the individual you see it going in the bin, so to speak.