Some folks have finally stumbled upon the great convergence occuring in the software industry. No, it is not voice and data–although that is huge and part of a larger trend towards a pervasive computing environment. I am talking about Web 2.0 and SOA. I find the recent discussions surrounding this topic to be extremely humorous given the fact that our outfit has been preaching this for some time to a largely deaf audience.
The first person that I saw commenting on this topic was Dion Hinchcliffe. If you have not already checked out his blog, you should–he tends to cover quite a bit. In short, it’s all about services baby. The web and the enterprise are moving towards the same thing. In the enterprise, they are talking about SalesForce. On the web, they talk about Google Maps. In the enterprise they talk about “On-Demand” computing. On the web, they are talking about the “Web as a Platform.” In the enterprise, they talk about composite applications. On the web, they talk about remixes, or mash-ups. If you think about it, the web is swiftly becoming the single largest deployment of a service-oriented architecture on the planet. Freaky right?
There are still those that would argue that the Web 2.0 movement is driven by fundamentally different forces. Joe McKendrick states that, “to a large extent, Web 2.0 is external, highly social, and driven by consumerism and personal computing/communication needs. SOA is internal, and all about corporate enterprise development and productivity.” Although on the surface this seems to be a valid point, I tend to disagree.
If you dive into it a bit deeper, the Web 2.0 and SOA movements are driven by the same force–users. It is not about consumerism vs. productivity. It is about letting users get things done. Users want to access information anywhere. Users want to be able to quickly leverage information from multiple sources. Users want to share information with peers. It does not matter where users are, all that matters is that the same fundamental set of technologies and paradigms are needed to address their need both inside and oustide the enterprise.
This convergence will disrupt the very foundations of our current computing infrastructure. It should be fun to see how incumbent players react. Don’t be surprised if your view of the Big 3 (GOOG, MSFT, YHOO), as well as SUN, IBM, and Comcast change forever. That is all for this web-slinger. Nuff said.