Sunday, April 26, 2015

SOA done right?

I said something the other day in a presentation I was giving that I immediately regretted: I was asked how to position microservices and SOA for marketing, to which I responded "Microservices are SOA done right". A nice sound bite, but the reason I regret it is that someone could infer from it that anything termed a microservice is a good SOA citizen. That's not the case. Just as not everything termed SOA or REST was following good SOA or REST principles, so too will be the case with microservices. And the lack of a formal definition of microservices, whether in terms of recognisable SOA principles or something else, doesn't help matters.

So what should I have said? In hindsight, and remembering that it had to be short and to the point, I'd probably revisit and say something along the lines of "If the service follows good SOA principles then it's probably on the way to being the basis of a microservice". Not quite as snappy a response, but probably as far as I'd feel comfortable going in a single sentence. Of course it then could lead to follow up questions such as "What's the difference between a good SOA citizen/service and a microservice?" but then we're into a technical domain and no longer marketing.

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