SOA evolving thanks to cloud computing: Gartner

SaaS, BPM, clouding helping drive adoption

The growing prevalence of software as a service, business process management (BPM) and cloud computing is helping drive service oriented architecture adoption, despite a number of high profile failures, Gartner has said.

According to the research firm, after a decade of maturing, SOA was now evolving beyond its traditional roots in RPC to encompass the forms of interaction found in representation state transfer, Web-oriented architecture and event-driven architecture.

Jess Thompson, research vice president at Gartner said this could be seen in SOA’s underpinning of initiatives aimed at cost reduction.

“We have noticed a growing interest around SOA from vertical industries like government and healthcare, which have been waiting for the technology and best practices to mature," Thompson said in a statement.

"Furthermore, some SOA initiatives already underway are being accelerated because users want to experience the benefits of SOA sooner rather than later."

Thompson said to date negative experiences with SOA had largely been the result three incorrect practices: too much focus on the technology to be used; treatment of SOA as any other application development project; and overlooking the need for project management.

In the next two years, Gartner predicted that the lack of working SOA governance arrangements would be the most common reason for SOA failures.

"You need a central entity that ensures tight coordination throughout the project and disciplines the process of design of new services,” he said. “Governance is needed for security, planned change and configuration management, testing, monitoring, and setting of quality-of-service requirements."

Thompson said in light of this many application vendors were re-engineering their products employing SOA to improve the flexibility and extensibility of the offerings, save money by eliminating duplicated functionality, and provide a more effective way of accessing the functionality of the products.

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