SOURCE: Burton Group

August 15, 2005 12:08 ET

Three Major Stumbling Blocks Are Derailing SOA Adoption Efforts

Burton Group Report Says SOA Adoption Requires Careful Planning and a Profound Willingness to Change

SALT LAKE CITY, UT -- (MARKET WIRE) -- August 15, 2005 -- Burton Group, the only IT research firm focused on in-depth analysis of enterprise infrastructure technologies, recently released an in-depth research report that points to three significant impediments that are slowing adoption of service-oriented architecture (SOA). The report: Vantage Point 2005-2006 SOA Reality Check, highlights SOA infrastructure, design and culture as hurdles to SOA uptake.

Burton Group recommends that, to succeed with SOA, enterprises must address all three, one technical; two behavioral:

SOA infrastructure: The Web services framework may be appropriate for building point-to-point connections, but it's not quite ready for true SOA. Advanced capabilities -- particularly policy-based management and control -- are still being defined. For the moment, an enterprise must adopt proprietary policy administration and enforcement solutions until policy standards mature.

Design: SOA requires a different approach to application design; therefore, an enterprise must train developers in SOA design principles and best practices.

Culture: Most organizations' incentive systems are in opposition to SOA; therefore, an enterprise must institute new incentives to encourage the adoption of SOA.

Burton Group research director Anne Thomas Manes says: "Despite agreement that SOA will enable better flexibility and agility, there's still debate as to what exactly SOA is and how to implement it. As an architectural style, SOA is a set of design principles and best practices whose goal is to develop reusable services."

The report details how, while core concepts behind SOA focus on loose coupling, the industry has not yet codified SOA principles and practices into well-defined design patterns. It concludes practitioners are still learning, and raging debates prevail.

"The road to SOA is not so smooth," says Manes. "SOA requires good planning and willingness to change."

Notes to Editor:

According to Burton Group, SOA is a style of application design that focuses on implementing software functionality as shared, reusable services, in which each service represents a relatively autonomous business or technical function. For example, a service can implement a function such as credit checking, order processing, inventory stock lookup, or user authentication.

Burton Group ( helps technologists make smart enterprise architecture decisions in increasingly complex environments. Burton Group is an IT research and advisory services firm focused on offering in-depth analysis of infrastructure technologies relating to security; identity management; Web services and service-oriented architecture; and network and telecom.

Burton Group's corporate roots are anchored in an uncompromising allegiance to the enterprise technologist and grow far outside the shadow of vendor agendas. This independence stems from Burton Group's mission to produce honest, meaningful research -- created by technologists, for technologists.

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