I see regular debates around the relationship between SOA and technology, with the bone of contention the assertion that SOA==WS. Whilst I empathise with all of the justifiable positions offered across the divide, I sort of see this as a crazy argument.
Why? Well in simple terms just as ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’, then I argue that ‘SOA is in the eye of the beholder’ too. One’s perspective relating to the term architecture has a huge bearing on what we then regard as service orientation.
Zooming in as far as we can, we have the ‘SOA’ project relating to wrapping a legacy application or databse such that legacy technology dependencies are unhooked from the consumers of said services. This aligns to a systems/software architecture perspective.
Zooming out as far as we can, we have the ‘SOA’ programme running hand-in-hand with Business Transformation and Enterprise Architecture programmes, whereing the service orientation relates to the process/functional decomposition, placing certain ‘service’ obligations on various traditional silo’s as the architecture becomes more open. This aligns to an enterprise architecture perspective.
In each case we have a radically different scope and granularity to the term SOA, and as a result one has more of an emphasis on a technical interpretion and a reasonable fit with the SOA==WS. However the enterprise SOA space is further removed from the technology and justifies the SOA!=WS.
My conclusion is that SOA as such an amporphous term (like architecture itself) must first be qualified before engaging in such a debate….