Chatting to Dr Patrick Chan about SOA

I met Dr Patrick Chan, Head of Emerging Technologies, IDC Asia Pacific over lunch today. It was part of a roundtable discussion hosted by IDC, with participants from the architect, senior manager community from the various major platform vendors.

We chatted about our common understanding of Service Oriented Architecture, as well as our experiences of building Service Oriented Architecture for our customers. We touched on quite a few technology/organisation/business/governance/architecture issues and drew a few interesting/startling conclusions, and I’ll list a few of them here:

  • In a merger and acquisition scenario, numerous organisations are finding it ‘cheaper and faster’ to build from scratch, rather than to integrate
  • The traditional ‘bus-centric view’ to solving EAI problems is no longer the only option, especially in light of the success of truly distributed architecture as exemplified by peer-to-peer, web based architecture, self-describing messages, and integration and interoperability is easily achieved through Web Services standards
  • Web 2.0 technologies such as AJAX holds great promise in helping organisations to rapidly build user centric applications, and enabling richer experiences on the Web

Dr Patrick Chan coined the term “Flat Dynamic Architecture” – which I really liked – it really depicts the highly dynamic and high connectivity scenario that we really want to achieve through service oriented architecture.

Dr Patrick Chan is the second luminary that I have come across that is not imposing a bus-centric architecture view on a SOA solution. Dr Jim Webber’s Guerilla SOA presentation is another one of my favourite.