Enterprise Mashups and SOA…

Anant felt that I overstated the distinction between Enterprise Mashups and SOA, and perhaps he’s right.

For those immersed in SOA techniques I’m sure the similarities are clear. If you’re not, it’s hard to see how UDDI services would make www.houseingmaps.com any better. SOAs are complicated and hard to implement, and the benefits accrue to the IT department, not the end user.

The point I was trying make was more along the lines of what Dion Hinchcliffe said last June:

Composite applications â?? those supposedly elegant marriages of the resources of a SOA into brand new software that is more an assembly of existing components than “green field” development â?? donâ??t have to be Web-based. Mashups do. Then there is the increased formality of composite applications, which are typically based on SOAP Web services and frequently woven together with BPEL and developed by professional programmers. Composite applications also tend to use an older generation of programming languages and technologies that have more overhead and ceremony. And, almost certainly too much exposed plumbing and infrastructure.

On the other hand, mashups use almost remarkably simple, basic techniques for connecting things together.

One subtle, but important issue I have with Dion’s characterization is that Mashup need to be ‘web-based’. Although I’ll concede that Mashups rely on web technologies, I wouldn’t claim they need to be ‘browser based’. If Dion is arguing browser-based, then I think he’s looking too closely at consumer Mashups overlooking the enormous opportunity for machine to machine and Enterprise Mashups. That where a Data Services layer can have an important role.

That’s another reason I like Info 2.0. It’s a bit more decoupled from the app and browser.


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