Wednesday, December 22, 2010
The Paradigm Shift of Service Oriented Architecture
Any migration from fragment or monolithic IT architecture to Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) is not so much a shift either in technology as a shift in thinking about the organizational use of the technology and a shift in thinking from "business" functions (e.g., engineeing, supply chain management, contracts, human resources), to thinking of processes for meeting the organization's strategies, mission, and vision. This is a cultural paradigm shift.
In addition SOA to a new way to build IT systems--by assembly of components rather than coding. This is the third time that there has been a shift in how applications are constructed. The first, was the change from coding in "machine language" to assembler coding (circa 1942 or earlier to about 1958), the second, was to construct compilers like Fortran 1 and COBOL. These languages enabled programmers to construct applications from code groups. Shortly, libraries of these code groups were added to enable reuse. Since then, not much as really changed. The migration to Object Oriented came close, but is more a paradigm shift in the way of thinking about the coding than a fundamental change in the domain of IT.
There is a fundamental, and perhaps a nearly unrecognized and poorly understood, change in migrating to assembly from developing code that I will discuss in another post--shortly.