> Archive > Issue XXXV: January 2010 > Reporting on the 2nd International SOA Symposium
Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick


Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. His popular 'Service Oriented Architecture' blog is published regularly at the ZDNet site. Joe is also SOA community manager for ebizQ, and speaks frequently on Enterprise 2.0 and SOA topics at industry events and Webcasts. He also serves as lead analyst and author of Evans Data Corp's highly regarded bi-annual SOA/Web Services and Web 2.0 surveys. Joe writes a regular column for Database Trends & Applications, and has authored numerous research reports in partnership with Unisphere Research for user groups such as SHARE, Oracle Applications Users Group, and International DB2 Users Group. In a previous life, Joe served as director of the Administrative Management Society (AMS), an international professional association dedicated to advancing knowledge within the IT and business management fields.


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Reporting on the 2nd International SOA Symposium

Published: January, 2010 • SOA Magazine Issue XXXV

Abstract: Last October, SOA and cloud practitioners and experts descended on the World Trade Center in Rotterdam for the second annual International SOA Symposium, and the mood was upbeat. For much of the year, many in the industry had been debating the viability of service oriented architecture in delivering business value, and the impact of the economy on such efforts. However, as seen in the tone of the sessions and discussion through the Symposium, it was clear that SOA was no longer a far-off vision, but had become a working reality for organizations seeking greater agility and responsiveness in today's competitive environment. Service-oriented principles and practices were being actively applied directly to real-life business problems and opportunities.

The conference also was the site of the first annual International Cloud Symposium, which covered the technical and business aspects of managing services within this new paradigm encompassing and extending service oriented architecture beyond enterprise walls. For two days, more than 400 attendees explored strategies and new developments, and networked at what has become the de facto service-oriented computing event.

Introduction: The Next Generation and Service-Orienting Everything

Setting the tone for the conference was Thomas Erl's keynote address, titled "Defining Next Generation SOA." Erl, the world's most widely published SOA author, described how the industry is shifting toward a new plateau defined by the convergence of established practices and principles together with service technology innovation, including Cloud-based platforms. This represents the next evolutionary stage in the on-going development of service-oriented computing - something that Erl termed "Next Generation SOA" and something he stated would be further embodied by the creation of an SOA Manifesto during this conference.

Erl's remarks where followed by the second opening keynote delivered by Anne Thomas Manes, analyst with Burton Group, who set off one of the most intense SOA debates ever when she declared in blog post at the beginning of 2009 that "SOA" - at least as we knew it - was "dead." However, the second part of Mane's post was "Long Live Services," which is the theme that she picked up on in her keynote address. "Business wasn't really interested in buying something called 'SOA," she declared, adding that in her own research, fewer than 10% of companies have seen significant business value in their efforts. However, that is not to diminish the importance of service oriented architecture. "The average IT organization is in a mess," she said. "The average business has 20 to 30 core capabilities. Why do they need 2,000 applications to support those 20 to 30 capabilities?"

"We should be service orienting everything we do," Manes contended. What's getting in the way is the feeling that an "SOA program" needs to be launched to get there, she states. "We have an opportunity at this point to resurrect SOA. We need a different approach, one based on architectural principles." Following Manes' presentation, Erl and Manes led a session on "Exorcising the Evil SOA," in which actors (in full costume and makeup as "good" and "evil" incarnations of SOA) and special effects were employed to convey a simple message: The confusion and ambiguity surrounding SOA had been identified as the "evil" SOA and that the concrete definition of SOA and service orientation principles and patterns represented the "good" SOA. To make way for the good SOA, the evil SOA had to be removed (or exorcised), which his exactly what Erl and Manes (with the help of the audience) proceeded to do in what was called the "first ever IT exorcism" [REF-1].

Object-oriented guru, author, and design patterns advocate Grady Booch delivered a keynote speech as part of the closing proceedings on the first conference day. Booch, who is chief scientist for software engineering at IBM Research, discussed how the service-oriented architectural model relates to and can be represented by design patterns, and the relevance of software architecture best practices to service-orientation. Booch's keynote was delivered remotely via Second Life, live from Hawaii. Dennis Wisnosky, chief technical officer and chief architect of the Business Mission Area of the US Department of Defense (DoD), then opened up the second day of the conference with a keynote session in which he described the large-scale SOA adoption initiatives at the US Department of Defense. Wisnosky also delivered a talk dedicated to an SOA case study pertaining to the Office of the Secretary of Defense at the US Department of Defense. David Chappell, vice president and chief technologist for SOA at Oracle and considered the father of the enterprise service bus, showed how grid technology, combined with service-orientation principles and virtualization techniques, can enable the next generation of service-oriented architecture. He explained how using specific architectural patterns, service-oriented applications can achieve predictable scalability and high availability in a corporate cloud environment.

Groups at Work: The SOA Manifesto and SOA Patterns Working Groups

A memorable highlight of the conference was the creation and unveiling of the SOA Manifesto [REF-2]. The SOA Manifesto Working Group (including yours truly) met over a three-day period, drafting the first industry-wide document to establish values and guiding principles for service orientation and service-oriented architecture. The 17 members of the Working Group comprised a broad spectrum of SOA proponents - including enterprise architects, authors, analysts, consultants, and vendor industry experts. The Manifesto's final draft was announced during the closing ceremony at the end of the SOA Symposium and was also video recorded (a recording that was eventually posted on YouTube).

As of the writing of this article, the SOA Manifesto has collected over 600 signatories via the online signatory form at Several of the working group members have proceeded to write articles and blogs in order to elaborate on the concise statements within the manifesto declaration. See my previous article entitled "Reporting on the SOA Manifesto: A Meeting of the Minds" [REF-3] for my account of this effort.

The SOA Patterns Review Committee also held a series of workshops at the symposium, in which members assisted pattern authors to produce high quality SOA design patterns and to assess candidate patterns submitted for inclusion in the master patterns catalog. These workshops followed the pattern shepherding processes established by the Hillside Group that has been responsible for formalizing the development of patterns for many previous publications. Several of the candidate patterns reviewed during these sessions will eventually be promoted to the master SOA patterns catalog [REF-4].

Other Happenings of Interest

There were numerous events, sessions and panel discussions, led by industry experts from around the globe - covering topics ranking from enterprise best practices to ESBs and security. Below are some of the highlights:

SOA Case Studies

Michael Widjaja, partner with Accenture, and Art Ligthart, partner with Ordina, and emcee for the Symposium, presented real-world case studies, including an SOA-based implementation at the Dutch Immigration and Naturalization Service. Howard S Cohen, associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, discussed the implementation of "SOA at the US Joint Forces Command," providing insights into how USJFCOM succeeded with realizing SOA at the Department of Defense, while raising additional issues that must still be resolved for to fully establish SOA and services that are usable throughout all of the DoD. Satadru Roy, senior SOA architect with Sun Microsystems, presented a case study of a large enterprise to describe how it went through a 'big-bang' SOA exercise that did not bring in the expected results but subsequently a more business-driven and focused implementation approach on a smaller scale helped them achieve critical business objectives. Nicolai Josuttis, independent system architect, technical manager, author, and consultant, delivered presentations on real-world SOA experiences accumulated from a series of major strategic SOA initiatives. Jan Verbeek, a founder of Be Informed, discussed how the services-centric semantic infrastructure developed by the Dutch government provides the public with context specific access to all government information and services.

SOA Architectural Strategies

Clemens Utschig-Utschig, senior consultant for Oracle and SOA author, presented two sessions that singled out specific contemporary architectural practices and messaging frameworks. Clemens' session on practices and patterns were drawn from his original pattern contributions for the SOA Design Patterns book. Dr. Paul C. Brown, principal software architect with Tibco and well-known SOA author, delivered two sessions on the importance of involving IT architects with the definition of enterprise SOA and how service design specifications can be derived from business process definitions. John DesJardins, chief architect for the BeNeLux region with Software AG, delivered a session on "The Next Generation of Business-Driven SOA," and provided a roadmap for leveraging the flexibility of next-generation SOA architectures and technologies by visually aligning service portfolios with business metrics.

SOA Messaging Strategies

Brian Loesgen, principal SOA Architect with Microsoft, presented on "Building the Modern ESB with the Microsoft ESB Toolkit," in which he discussed the Microsoft Enterprise Service Bus Toolkit - and specifically the new version 2.0 - and how it enables an organization to build a practical ESB as part of the larger service-oriented infrastructure. Thomas Rischbeck, IT architect and business developer with IPT, gave a talk on "Navigating the Bermuda Triangle," in which he compared legacy systems and ESBs to a "forbidden sea." Rischbeck talked about how to avoid these and other middle-tier pitfalls, and will reveal how to best leverage ESB technology, along with contemporary XML appliances and home-rolled service-oriented solutions capable of fulfilling intermediation requirements and creating true business value based on proven practices, design patterns and established standards.

SOA Security

Jason Hogg, architect inside the Office of the CTO within Worldwide Services for Microsoft, delivered a presentation on "Understanding SOA Security Patterns," walked through a number of the SOA design patterns that are specific to services, processes, and SOA security in general.

Open Source SOA

Steve Ross-Talbot, chief architect for Cognizant Technology Solutions, presented details on a new open source community project called Savara that focuses on describing distributed systems in terms of the behavior and behavioral typing which leads to a robust and accurate description and yields a better understanding of that that we build.

SOA End-User Support

Torsten Winterberg, director of strategy and innovation at Opitz Consulting addressed considerations around user interfaces to SOA-based services. In his presentation, he reviewed existing work such as UI-Services, Worklists, BPEL4People, Embedded Taskflows, and the controlling of existing applications, then introduced solution concepts, from workflow-driven TODO-Lists to the UI Mediator pattern.

New SOA Perspectives

Dr. Ali Arsanjani, CTO of SOA Emerging Technologies within IBM Global Services, delivered a session on "Service-Oriented Modeling and Architecture (SOMA)," a method used to conduct projects of varying scope in multiple industries. Arsanjani is the inventor of SOMA. SOA author, consultant and expert Dirk Krafzig conducted three sessions dedicated to current topics, including "SOA Governance Touch Points", "SOA Rollout Strategies" and "BI, BPM, and BRM Guide SOA Through The Cloud." Noted SOA author and REST advocate Stefan Tilkov delivered a talk on various Web-based implementation mediums, technologies, and architectural characteristics now being leveraged for the creation of modern service-oriented solutions.

Book Launches

Two new SOA books were also launched at the Symposium. The first book, "SOA with REST," authored by Raj Balasubramanian, Benjamin Carlyle, Thomas Erl, and Cesare Pautasso, discusses a the convergence of REST and SOA, and establishing RESTful services in support of service-orientation. The second book announced at the Symposium, "Modern SOA Infrastructure: Technology, Design, and Governance," is authored by David Chappell, Thomas Erl, Mark Little, Brian Loesgen, Satadru Roy, Thomas Rischbeck, and Arnaud Simon, and will be published shortly. The aim of this book is to explore modern infrastructure technologies and practices for mainstream service-oriented architectures and solutions.

Cloudy Content

Co-located with the 2nd International SOA Symposium, the International Cloud Symposium addressed the ever-widening convergence between SOA and Cloud-based services in a number of sessions and panel discussions. Examples included:

  • Cloud Architecture - Richard Watson, analyst with the Burton Group, talked about the emerging cloud-based application development architecture, and whether applications can realize cloud benefits through a simple off-premise server migration. He also discussed whether cloud requires developers to re-write applications or port applications to proprietary Platform as a Service (PaaS) environments.
  • Cloud Services - Simone Brunozzi, Amazon Web Services Evangelist for Europe, led a session exploring his company's offerings, as well as the current state and future direction of his company as it moves the enterprise cloud computing environment forward.
  • Cloud Security - John deVadoss, who leads the Patterns and Practices team at Microsoft, led a presentation on identity management within the Cloud. Claims-based identity enables a single interoperable approach that may be applied almost universally. Dr. Toufic Boubez, a well-respected SOA, Web services pioneer, and a Certified SOA Trainer for SOA Systems Inc., discussed a number of the most common known security concerns and vulnerabilities in Cloud-based services.

A Matter of Opinions: The Panels

The conference was also highlighted by a number of well-attended and boisterous panel discussions.

Next Generation SOA

Anne Thomas Manes joined a panel discussion built on her "SOA is Dead" proclamation, which examined in more detail what Next Generation SOA will look like. I had the opportunity to moderate the session, and Manes was joined by John deVadoss, Stefan Tilkov, and Clemens Utschig, who discussed what exactly warrants this transition and why the maturation and adoption of formal practices, principles and patterns is so critical to making the most out of what modern services technologies and platforms have to offer. In another next-gen SOA discussion moderated by Art Ligthart, panelists discussed different services-based technologies currently in development, ranging from services for embedded devices and mesh computing to SOA fabrics and dynamic SOA infrastructure. Panelists included Paul Brown, David Chappell, Pethuru Cheliah, Dirk Krafzig, and Richard Watson.

The Modern Enterprise Service Bus

SOA advocates also revisited the subject of a heated debate at a panel at last year's Symposium - enterprise service buses. This year's panel focused on current innovations pertaining to contemporary ESB products and technologies, including connection points to modern SOA infrastructure platforms, such as grid computing and cloud computing. The session was moderated by Herbjorn Wilhelmsen, and was joined by panelists David Chappell, Thomas Rischbeck, Brian Loesgen, Jim Webber, and Satadru Roy.

SOA-Cloud Convergence

Cloud computing was also a hot topic, and one panel explored the convergence between SOA and the Cloud. The session, moderated by Herbjorn Wilhelmsen, included Toufic Boubez, Simone Brunozzi, Jason Hogg, and David Van Puyvelde, explored how cloud-based services and platforms can benefit from being architecturally shaped by service-orientation and SOA patterns and best practices. Another panel also explored Cloud issues, particularly the challenge of interoperability between Cloud providers and offerings. Tom Plunkett moderated a panel in which Simone Brunozzi, David Van Puyvelde, Tony Shan, and Richard Watson discussed the need for the Open Cloud paradigm.

SOA and Cloud Security

Security is always a hot issue for both SOA and Cloud, of course, and members of another panel,, also led by Art Ligthart, answered questions regarding practices, technologies, patterns, and upcoming trends in the field of SOA security.

Agile Development and Service Orientation

Another panel explored the differences and common ground between Agile and SOA. The panel, moderated by Tom Plunkett, voiced opinions regarding the compatibility and disparity of these two methodologies. Panelists included Twan van den Broek, Sander Hoogendoorn, Nicolai Josuttis, and Jim Webber.


This was a conference to remember. It produced a formal manifesto declaration for the entire SOA community, featured a dramatic battle of good versus evil, and showcased the top SOA and cloud experts from around the world. All of the presentation files from this event are published on the conference site and can be freely downloaded at


[REF-1] Photos from the "Exorcising the Evil SOA" session:

[REF-2] The SOA Manifesto,

[REF-3] "Reporting on the SOA Manifesto: A Meeting of the Minds" by Joe McKendrick, SOA Magazine, November 2009, (