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The association of SOA with SOAP, and to the inevitable ends of religious wars


It seems to me that SOA is quite clearly associated in most people's
minds with SOAP and the various Web Services specs. Now there may be
various reasons for this, for example:

1. The association is wholly the product of uninformed people
associating the generic term services with Web Services, or the use of
the term Web Services in descriptions of SOA with SOAP based
2. The association is wholly the product of uninformed people thinking
that the three letters SOA are somehow related to the first three
letters of SOAP, which they are in an alphabetical manner but
otherwise not. (I've seen this argument once, I thought it was
3. The association is quite clearly caused by every SOA and SOAP guru
talking up that association over the last couple years.
4. some confluence of these factors.

Now I am pretty much prone to accepting number 3 as the reason,
especially when I go through the various SOA books in Safari and they
all talk about the marvels of WS-* and so forth and mention REST in
very disparaging tones, if at all.

This brings me in a round about way to something I have noticed in the
last few months (I guess more accurately over the last year since it
was evident the WebServices winner had been declared) which is SOA
evangelists and architects and so forth first trying to downplay the
association with SOAP instead of embracing it(it seems to me it is the
last year when I have started to hear more often the argument #1 in
the above list)  and to start to talk about REST and SOA together.

In the case of people talking about REST as SOA or other combinations
of these terms it seems that there has been a marked hostility in the
community of people who were on the REST side in the recent religious
war (although maybe religious war is not the right term since these
are generally considered to be wars over meaningless things and not
wars over important technical principals) to the linking of SOA and

So the question now is: with REST the winner just how forgiving will
the new dominion be, and how ruthlessly will the spoils be divided?
(please formulate own poetical metaphors for the destruction of
heretics and associated activities: scourging etc. )

Bryan Rasmussen

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