Thursday, June 17, 2004

Beyond Services

I've been actively writing about services (and mostly web services) for three years now. We've moved from the base specs, to the WS-* functionality, to BPEL, Service Network design, Service Oriented Integration and Service Oriented Development of Applications.
However, the one thing that has been clear to me for the last year is that services will play an important role in enterprise architecture, but will only be successful when combined with other architectural concepts.

In the past, I've thrown out terms like, "Model Driven Services" or "Model Driven Metadata" and "Metadata Driven Services". The fact is, most "web service" companies have been so busy trying to knock out the ws-* spec implementations that they have not had time to think about the converging programming model. But they must!

After the WS-dust settles, we will have solved our LCD problem and hopefully even our GCF problem. What is less clear is how service based development will interact with many of the popular programming concepts (eventing, aspects, code generators, process engines, policy systems, rules engines, etc.) It is relatively easy to create a new specialized brand of computing (like services). It is much harder to weave it with the concepts that are already in place. Failure to do so results in a massively disjointed architecture. The symbiotic relationship between our architectural components must grow.

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