International SOA Symposium 2009

On the 22th and 23th of october 2009 the second SOA Symposium and first Cloud symposium took place in Rotterdam. For me it was the first SOA Symposium. The main theme of this symposium was the introduction of the SOA Manifesto by some respectful people of the SOA community like Thomas Erl, Anne Thomas Manes and Grady Booch.

There were 6 SOA tracks, 2 Cloud computing tracks and a working group that worked on Candidate SOA Design patterns and the SOA Manifesto.

The first day I followed:
The Convergence and Unification of SOA, EDA & BPM, by Manas Deb, Oracle
This presentation was about to think about the business events that occur within your business and to take these events into account early. So it should be natural to combine events, services and processes to create the need for the business. Events were also used to split complex processes.
At the end of the presentation his new book was given away and I got hold of one piece (see also here for a book review).

Service Modelling: Making Sure Your Services Deliver Value, by Richard Watson, Burton Group

This talk was about focus on service design principles rather than technology. The identification and definition of sharable and reusable services is still more art than science. He believes that developers must start thinking out-of-the-box instead of in there technical world.

I agree with him to some extend, but that's what they are hired to do, maybe the role of the architect is more relevant here. I also see that architects just design point-2-point interfaces without thinking "Services".

SOA and Cloud Computing - A Match Made in Heaven? by David Chappell, Oracle

I followed this presentation to get some feeling about what Cloud computing is, and what the relationship with SOA is.
He began his talk about the weeks/months it takes to deploy new applications/services on hardware. He then introduces the Cloud in which hardware and other resources can be managed by configuration. This significantly increases the speed of deployment.
Then he also introduces the Grid in which data is made persistent and available for all services. There I get lost a little and wonder if this is the way you would want to go. I would expect this to be hided from the Service Consumer, and that this data is accessible through a Service. He foresees public- and private clouds.

Mission impossible? Applying Agile to the World of SOA and ERP, by Sander Hoogendoorn (Capgemini) and Twan van den Broerk (Ciber)
This was a great real example of how Agile can help (even) SAP projects to deliver on time and what the customer wants. This presentation was about the use of Smart Usecases and Scrum within a SAP project.

 I like the use of Scrum or other iterative and agile approaches when doing a software project. I also strongly believe in its value in integration and SOA based projects. This presentation showed its value in real example project.


Next Generation SOA: A Web-Centric Perspective, by Stefan Tilkov, InnoQ

Stefan Tilkov is a pioneer on exposing Services as REST services, so this talk was also on REST. After an introduction on resources, URI and representations he talked about Atom.
He concluded with some recommendations:
* Ensure your webapps are RESTful
* Expose machine readable info via HTTP Get
* Manage your metadata with RESTful HTTP
* Use WS-* if policies or legacy forces you

I personally like the REST style of interfacing, but only if this is the "best" way. I really like the fact that each resource object gets its own URI that can be used for linking. I also like the fact that a resource can have multiple representations. So a resource can be represented as a WebPage, POX (Plain Old XML), JSON or whatever. The WS-* versus the REST continues ;)

Between the sessions..
Between the sessions I had the opportunity to talk to some interesting people. I spoke among others with Brian Lokhorst who works for the DTCA ("Belastingdienst") and he also uses SOA Design Patterns to encapsulate legacy systems.
Furthermore I talked with a Belgian company (Collibra) that developed a product for managing "semantic data". This product manages the enterprise data, not only syntactically but also semantically and can generate technical models and transformations. At runtime it will keep track of semantic correctness.

There was a funny presentation by Gray Booch who could not be physically present and did his presentation via SecondLife.

Day 2

Introducing the modern ESB, by Satadru Roy from Sun and Brain Loesgen from Microsoft
The only interesting and funny part was that SUN and Microsoft did this presentation together. There was a demo of Biztalk but further nothing new.


Understanding SOA Governance by Harold van Aalst, Progress Software
This was a presentation about Progress Actional governance tool of Progress.
I wonder if these tool can really help you. There were only a few Dutch customers using the tool at that moment.

Real-life use cases of SOA Design patterns at the Dutch Tax and Customs Administration, by Brian Lokhorst
This talk was about the usage of two SOA design patterns used within the DTCA.

Introducing Transactions to REST, by Michael Musgrove, Red Hat
This talk was about transactions (Compensations and Atomic) the REST way. A demo was given using the
RESTeasy framework.

It was a bit ackward interface of which the client must have knowledge. It remains a complex problem to solve also within the WS-* world in which the standard is not used very much (yet)?

SOA Manifesto
But the main theme of the symposium was the introduction of the SOA Manifesto which can be seen here. I hope this will help take SOA on a higher level, let SOAlize the enterprise !!


  1. Dear Roger,

    Thanks for dropping by at Collibra's booth, and for the nice wrap-up of the different SOA sessions, we were a bit stuck at our booth, overwhelmed by the interest. Our coverage is over at our blog ( http://inside.collibra.com/?p=624 ).

    To be more precise, Collibra has developed not one product, but three: the Business Semantics Glossary (for collaboratively managing your business semantics across the organization), the Business Semantics Studio (for linking business semantics to technical models in existing systems) and the Business Semantics Studio (for generating data translation and validation services).

    Btw, Gartner has incorporated semantics in several of their requirements for a SOA infrastructure (September 2009): http://www.gartner.com/DisplayDocument?id=1171312&ref=g_sitelink

    Kind regards,


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