SOA Repositories and Web 2.0

Phil Wainewright, of ZDNet and LooselyCoupled, posted an article on SOA repositories at LooselyCoupled. I thought it did a great job in calling out the phases that we’ve gone through in realizing that a system facing registry was not enough, and that tools were needed at design and development time that were human facing, i.e. repositories. Joe McKendrick of ZDNet also posted a summary of this.

No one will argue that one of the reasons for embracing SOA is reuse. Reuse has been somewhat of a holy grail in software development, however. My first introduction to the challenges associated with reuse came at the Software Development Expo East (SD Expo) in 1998. I can’t remember who the presenter was (and unfortunately, the archives at only go back to 1999), but he stated that the number one factor that determined success or failure of an enterprise-wide reuse effort was marketing and communication.

Therefore, it’s no surprise to me that the industry is starting to rally around the notion of a repository, rather than a registry. In reality, it goes far beyond that. If the key to success is marketing and communication, this seems to be a great fit for everything that is Web 2.0. The example of Verizon’s IT Workbench Portal is a great case study. While Verizon’s approach did begin with a CIO mandate, their approach was not strong-handed, but rather a non-intrusive process that integrated seamlessly into the developer’s world. The term repository almost seems too limiting in this context. Perhaps this is the first big example of how the social networking aspects of Web 2.0 can be utilized productively in the corporate world.

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