Yesterday I had a really fun time running a workshop at the IQPC SOA conference on Structuring your SOA Project. It was interesting to see that SOA is still not clearly understood and that the “silver bullet” answers are a still being sought after by a few.
The heart of my workshop centered on the theme that you cannot steer clear of business or domain knowledge, even if you try to design your services by wrapping existing software assets. It just has to align to reality in the business, otherwise you will just create another architecture that has a fractured line to the business needs.
The other interesting theme that arose, unintentionally, was that it may well be easier to sneak in SOA by thinking in services and building some solutions covertly. Once value is delivered and becomes noticeable, then start spreading out to the next cell … almost virally.
I summarised the main thoughts in the article on DZone at http://architects.dzone.com/articles/top-down-soa-aligning-business.