Posted by: Steve Hamm on August 25, 2006
There are plenty of challenges for journalists who specialize in corporate computing (like me) in an era when no-new-insight-added personality profiles are the kinds of stories that are trumpeted on the covers of business magazines. The biggest of our challenges is that the technology has become so damned complicated that it’s beyond the comprehension or interest of even hard-core business readers. (I long for the days of yore when all you had to do is write the words “Internet” or “Web” to get everybody excited.) Such is the case with service oriented architectures—which has been the hot new thing in corporate technology for so many years that’s it’s now becoming difficult to call it a new thing with a straight face. I don’t believe I have ever written the words “service oriented architecture” in a BW story—though I made an on-line reference earlier this week.
Help is on the way. Wiley, publisher of the Dummies books, is coming out this fall with Service Oriented Architecture for Dummies, a 300+ page tome that explains SOA in a way that any person with a basic education and a familiarity with computers should be able to understand.
Will it make a difference? I still have no plans to start slinging SOA around in print. But, clearly, IBM has high hopes. The company's vice-president of SOA marketing (imaging the cocktail party introduction!), Sandy Carter, helped co-author Carol Baroudi get the project going. And, in case you don't know, SOA figures large in IBM's software and services strategies. All those SOA software and service components have to be built and assembled by somebody.
I got hold of a mini version of the book (compliments of an IBM PR guy) and turned a few pages. It's a nice job. Simple. Non-geeky. And, since I'm a believer that companies will be well served by adopting SOA (for efficiency and flexibility), I hope the Dummies book helps popularize this truly significant tech phenomenon.