Saturday, March 25, 2006

My Enterprise Makes Your Silly Product Look Like A Grain of Sand

Dare Obasanjo, a Microsoft engineer recently posted the following comment:

The funny thing about a lot of the people who claim to be 'Enterprise Architects' is that I've come to realize that they tend to seek complex solutions to relatively simple problems. How else do you explain the fact that web sites that serve millions of people a day and do billions of dollars in business a year like Amazon and Yahoo are using scripting languages like PHP and approaches based on REST to solve the problem of building distributed applications while you see these 'enterprise architect' telling us that you need complex WS-* technologies and expensive toolkits to build distributed applications for your business which has less issues to deal with than the Amazons and Yahoos of this world?

Dare goes on to say:
I was chatting with Dion Hinchcliffe at the Microsoft SPARK workshop this weekend and I asked him who the audience was for his blog on Web 2.0. He mentioned that he gets thousands of readers who are enterprise developers working for government agencies and businesses who see all the success that Web companies are having with simple technologies like RSS and RESTful web services while they have difficulty implementing SOAs in their enterprises for a smaller audience than these web sites. The lesson here is that all this complexity being pushed by so-called enterprise architects, software vendors and big 5 consulting companies is bullshit. If you are building distributed applications for your business, you really need to ask yourself what is so complex about the problems that you have to solve that makes it require more complex solutions than those that are working on a global scale on the World Wide Web today.

I guess that this gets to my point. Most people who have never seen a large enterprise architecture have no concept of what it is. I'm not trying to imply that Dare is one of them, but stating the RSS and REST are cures to enterprise grade problems seems a bit myopic. So, to Dare's point - why is it more complex to do 'enterprise grade' over 'web grade'? This is the million dollar (or perhaps billion dollar) question.

Of course I have my views, but what are yours? Send me your thoughts and I'll recompile for publishing. My gut tells me that there is a pretty good argument to be had here - if Dare is right, I want to be the first to advise my customers. If he's wrong, well - I want to advise my customer of that too!

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