In a recent blog post, Joe McKendrick poses the question that I have been playing around with for a while regarding where and how SOA fits into EA. He mentions that:
I agree that SOA is good EA done at the Technology Architecture level, but is unique in that it has more and more relevance to the Business Architecture with each passing year (as oppose to decreasing in importance)
He also poses this great question:
“Also, is it likely that all major technology expressions these days have elements of service orientation about them, so EA automatically = SOA on some level?”
I agree, but might turn it around to be : SOA can be an automatic part of EA if it driven by the precepts that are derived from EA at higher levels of the architecture. It is possible to use SOA technologies to simply do a “better” version of PTP integration. And, in fact, there is some value in doing that, but it is not relevant to EA at that level of maturity.
I often talk about “Services” – with a capitol “S” – to distinguish them from “services.” The difference being that Services have been vetted as being truly worthy at a Enterprise level. That is where SOA appears on the EA radar; where SOA has the chance of positively impacting the organization’s agility, simplify IT, and drive costs down. All of these things are the mantra of any EA effort.