Archive for November, 2005

SOA – a Spock-Oriented Analogy

Next week I am giving a talk at the XML Conference and Exposition 2005, which is the one show that is the source for everything XML and just XML, running November 14-18 at the Atlanta Hilton in Atlanta, Georgia. You can find out more at

We also attended the sister conference XTech in Amsterdam earlier this year, and that was a great gathering of gurus with groovy gadgets grinding on the topics driving SOA.

This particular 3-hour cruise entitled “Web Services and Architecture: The Next Generation” takes place on Monday morning (stardate 11.14) as part of the pre-show tutorials. Forgive the trekkie title, but it is a bit of an episodic where the actors change daily, and we are constantly pouring over the trade rags to find out the latest on their relationships. We also toyed with sub-titles like “Back to the Enterprise” and “Thoughts from the Bridge”, but in the end we called it like it is. The next generation, which is to say the one right before the next one after that.

“We are going to run out of ‘unobtainium’ any minute now…I’m giving her all she’s got, captain.”

Like many technologists, I confess to being a little embarassed when I think that I probably spend more time talking about SOA than I do actually executing on it. I have been speaking on Web services standards and SOA for over five years and I keep promising myself that this is the year when I will ask the question, “Who out there is doing SOA now?” and everyone will put up their hand. I’m counting on you and I can honestly say that we get to put our collective hand up with the work we are doing on the LiveCycle platform at Adobe.

If we go back about five years I remember reading in a published study that more people were planning on doing web services than were actually aware of what they were. In other words, the awareness stat was lower than the adoption stat. Strange science indeed, but it struck me then and it does again, that the reason this was the case was that it was so complicated (yes, even then), was that in order to truly understand it you actually had to plan for a launch.

IMHO, I am not sure my talk at XML 2005 will remove the necessary cloaking devices but I do know that it is going to be a full three hours or more of up-to-the-minute, feet-first diving into the standards forces that are at play. And, I do know that I am counting on the fact that the discussions following the talk and during the course of the four day show will take me to parts of the galaxy I didn’t know existed.

Trust that I’ll update you as the voyage continues…