Industry SOA incompatible with interoperability

Earlier today I met up with CA’s chief technology officer Al Nugent. One of the areas we discussed was SOA. If SOA truly delivered on its promise, we would be able to pick and choose best of breed components to build our IT infrastructure, plug them all together, and swap out components that didn’t fit our requirements.

Now Al believes this is highly unlikely to happen. The reason is that while all the components of our software infrastructure may well talk a common language through XML, the interfaces to the services available on these components will remain proprietary.

Anyone attempting to swap out a core component of their SOA infrastructure, will need to undertake extensive integration work to ensure the new component provides an exactly identical programming interfaces to the one it replaces.

SOA will not get us any closer to plug and play interoperability – IT companies have no real incentive to make it easy for users to swap out one of its products for a rival’s.