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On SOA, Broccoli and Ice Cream

Broccoli and ice cream is a phrase Thomas Otter, enterprisey HR Maven, Gartner Analyst, cycling nutter and all round good egg, uses a lot in talking about enterprise software. He grew up with it –

“you can’t have your ice-cream without your broccoli.”

As systematic viewpoints translates it:

“broccoli – not as much fun as ice cream, but way more nutritious.”

For further broccoli and ice cream reference material see this podcast with SAP’s Jeremiah Stone. Anyway, I was re-reading Enterpriseyness the final sequel or my secret demo weapon exposed from Thomas recently (yes because someone tweeted it!), but unlike when I checked it our in 2006 I actually watched the video this time. Very funny, and to me it just shrieked SOA.

SOA should not just be about ice cream. It requires work, discipline and analysis. Its no good just leaving your existing business processes wheezing away, having a crafty cigarette behind a gleaming portal (looking a bit like Dennis in fact). That’s not SOA. SOA means diving into your broccoli, doing the work to really understand how things fit together, what can be jettisoned, what your data models are, how they can be usefully extended. Hey with SOA your enterprise architecture might even give up smoking.

Forget the ice cream. Real World SOA is all about the broccoli.

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8 Responses

  1. Yes that someone was me…
    http://twitter.com/njames/statuses/836807034
    I was in this broccoli / ice cream mood yesterday and even changed my twitter avatar to counterpoint Thomas’s brocolli with some ice cream.

    This of course can be seen in my chinposin avatar history http://chinposin.com/home/njames.

    Good thing that chinposin thing. Whoever thought of that? ;)

  2. Funny how often Broccoli comes up. My colleague Shakir spent almost as much time on Broccoli as on databases in his post on how to build scalable database architectures using Oracle.

  3. Sorry James, that was the wrong post. He only mentions Broccoli in passing in that one.

    The one where he goes on and on about broccoli is this one, on troubleshooting IO issues with the Oracle wait interface.

  4. @James – I am shocked, truly shocked. Especially as I am your unofficial supplier of smokes when we’re on gigs together. That might change. Rapidly. Bit like SOA really (lol)



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Continuing the Discussion

  1. […] James Governor’s Monkchips » On SOA, Broccoli and Ice Cream – I am shocked, truly and momrtally wounded. […]

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