Service Oriented Enterprise

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Web Service Architecture Tenets  

When it comes to SOA, what do you believe in?
What are the goals? What are the rules?

These are tough questions that many people in the industry have attempted to answer. Some time back, Frank Martinez and I wrote our view:

Web Service Architecture Tenets

I'd love to hear your feedback.

posted by jeff | 12:07 PM

Monday, January 02, 2006

My Favorite Prediction  

I've read quite a few predictions for 2006 - and my favorite - by far - was penned by David Heinemeier Hansson. His prediction on enterprise software follows:

4. 'Enterprise' follows 'legacy' to the standard dictionary of insults favored by software creators and users. Enterprise software vendors' costs will continue to rise while the quality of their software continues to drop. There will be a revolt by the people who use the software (they want simple, slim, easy-to-use tools) against the people who buy the software (they want a fat feature list that's dressed to impress). This will cause Enterprise vendors to begin hemorrhaging customers to simpler, lower-cost solutions that do 80% of what their customers really need (the remaining 20% won't justify the 10x -100x cost of the higher priced enterprise software solutions). By the end of 2006 it will be written that Enterprise means bulky, expensive, dated, and golf.

What David identifies is the growing distinction between classes of applications in the enterprise. Many, if not most, applications in the enterprise DON'T NEED TO BE ENTERPRISE GRADE. The function that they perform - isn't that important, doesn't require .99999 up-time, DOD-grade security, etc.

But let's get serious - Dell isn't going to be running its order management system from some Web 2.0 SaaS startup - nor will e-Trade be hosting customer financial data in some "non-enterprise" way. People who don't do enterprise development don't understand enterprise development; there are a million blogs out there to prove this. An enterprise can lose more money in one day because of a system outage than the combined revenue of every SaaS / Web 2.0 company combined.

Before 'enterprise Java', the term 'enterprise' referred to the scope of the deployment - not the architecture. 'Mission Critical' was the term we used to indicate a high degree of architectural integrity. David (and many others) are continuing to restate the obvious: we need multiple levels of architecture: light, medium, heavy. We need architectural profiles for each level. Our enterprise architecture teams MUST NOT force one design center for all application classes.

Is there a place for RoR, Spring, RSS, etc. in the enterprise? You bet. Will light weight solutions eat away at their heavy-weight counterparts? Yep. Is the 'enterprise' grade solution going to mean "bulky, expensive and dated" in 2006? Well, yea - it has meant that for years!

posted by jeff | 2:42 PM

Sunday, January 01, 2006

My 2006 Predictions  

Here are my 2006 predictions:

1. Virtually no enterprise software companies will 'go public' in 2006.

2. U.S. based venture capital will continue a downward trend with enterprise software leading the pack.

3. An abnormally high number of small ISV's will fail to raise their next round of funding. However, their revenue will allow them to crawl forward forcing them to ask the 'startup euthanasia' question.

4. On average, large enterprise software companies market valuation will stagnate; small and medium sized companies will mostly go down except for brief periods of 'acquisition hype'.

5. The number of 'Software as a Service' providers increase substantially but find low revenue in 2006.

6. The competition between Big-5 and Big-I (Indian) consulting increases significantly setting up a 2007 consolidation scenario.

7. The Business Process Platform becomes the accepted standard as the foundation for enterprise software.

8. SOA continues as a major trend however more attention is focused on 'what to service orient' rather than 'how to service orient'.

9. Google continues to release new products in very short time frames. Microsoft takes notice but does not act.

10. stock price drops by 50%.

posted by jeff | 7:09 AM