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Architecture for Dummies

Blog: Method & Style (Bruce Silver)

Normally when the Ayn Rand references start flying, I head for cover. But since Phil Gilbert’s rant on the futility of foisting an SOA primer on naive business managers tracked back to my post on what BPM on SOA would look like, I guess I’m obligated to say something. Phil’s nominal beef is with the mere idea of a book called SOA for Dummies, which commits the sin (in his eyes) of equating SOA with web services and ESBs. The deeper issue, however, seems to be misappropriation by the SOA community of a value proposition that really belongs to something called Business Architecture, things like business-IT alignment, agility, reuse, etc. Business architecture, from his description of it, looks at business and IT together as an “organic” whole (with a slight top-down business-oriented perspective), rather than starting with IT infrastructure and then seeing what you can build on it.

So I guess he’s sort of agreeing with my post (I can’t tell), where I noted the inherent dissonance between BPM (top-down, business-driven) and SOA (bottom-up, IT infrastructure-driven). But he thinks that trying to explain technology to the business is a misguided approach:

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