A new survey, reported here, finds that most executives see SOA as a key enabler to effective use of Web 2.0 technologies and approaches.
The survey of 330 companies in 11 European countries, sponsored by BEA, found that 55% view SOA as “the best way to support the use of social networking and Web 2.0 development techniques in their IT infrastructure.”
The article was short on details on how exactly these companies see SOA and Web 2.0 converging, other than pointing out that Web 2.0 and SOA both foster greater business agility and productivity.
Though they have a lot in common, and are both about online, on-demand delivery of services, Web 2.0 and SOA typically have been on two separate tracks. In fact, there’s occasionally even been talk that Web 2.0 eclipsing SOA as a preferred path to agility. Web 2.0 is seen as fast-moving, encouraging collaboration, social networking, mashups, and software as a service. SOA cis seen as slow-moving, concentrating on service-enablement of IT resources.
But Web 2.0 and SOA appear to be converging on three levels:
Web 2.0 collaborative environments — blogs, wikis, social networking sites — can facilitate better communication between IT groups and business users as they build and deploy SOA. SOA is an enterprise-wide project, and the work should be transparent and accessible.
Web 2.0 mashups are part of a new generation of composite applications that make SOA accessible to business end-users. It’s now becoming possible for business end-users to develop their own services, rather than waiting for IT. (SOA governance can also play a role in managing the proliferation of such services.)
SOA is granularizing applications to the point that Software as a Service becomes a viable option.