James Governor's Monkchips

What SOA needs to learn from Ruby On Rails

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Convention over configuration.

A while back I talked to lessconfig, based on the lesscode idea.

What is the default config for SOA? Why don’t we try and solve the 95% before we move on to the edge cases?

Big SOA with reg/rep and so on- who needs it? Who is using it? Remember UDDI? It was designed to handle WSDL complexity. But very few organisations needed it. UDDI was designed to offer extreme configurability. Who most likes extreme configurability? Consultants.

Enterprises need to stop and ask themselves what problems they are actually trying to solve, rather than what problems they ever might need to solve. What does the business actually need, not how do we spend this budget? Developers can handle exceptions – that is what they’re there for. Jeff seems to disagree, although I am not sure.

The Java world is finally getting it, with Spring bringing convention over configuration to JEE’s complex API set.

SAP began to show real value when the vendor and its customers began to understand useful generic configurations. What’s canned SOA? That’s what we need to work out. I don’t think SOA is dead – I just think it needs to grow up… and act a little more conventional.


  1. This may be difficult:

    ROR stands for Ruby on Rails
    SOA stands for Service Orientated Architecture

    Service is good
    Oriented is “Something like” fluff language
    Architecture is building for every possibility definitely not the required 80/20 rule

    So how about we just replace SOA with SOR, Service On Rest loose the WS* hairball and UDDI dinosuar , make everything a service based resource – RESTFarian style. The moment you can just hyperlink to everything is when clarity and loosely coupled common sense kicks in.

    You will also need some slick agile coding on top to act as the mortar coupling it together – Groovy/Grails, Ruby/Rails, or even Python. You will of course also need some real rockstars to make you tech dream come true, but choosing their favorite tools (as suggested above) could provide them with an incentive to play in your digital playground.


  2. […] More on complexity, configurability Published August 3rd, 2007 entrypoints , Systems Director , systemp , HMC , Ruby , SOA , complexity One of my first posts in this blog, was on the subject of complexity. James Governor of Redmonk weighed in today with a trackback post called “What SOA needs to learn from Ruby On Rails“. […]

  3. > The Java world is finally getting it, with Spring bringing convention over configuration to JEE’s complex API set.

    Are you serious? Spring only got annotations in its most recent release! Loads of XML config files if you don’t use annotations. JEE isn’t J2EE.

  4. I think Grails is the last hope for seriously efficient Java development. Java is getting better, but just have one of your Java developers try out RoR’s generation tools, or take advantage of scaffolding, or the power of method_missing()…. they are huge eye openers to how productive you can be.

  5. […] What SOA Needs to Learn from Ruby On Rails:  Convetion over Configuration.  Many other things would benefit from these observations! […]

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