is SOA dead? Secure it nevertheless!

From Dan Foody at Progress comes a podcast. (Alas, the podcast did not play with a simple click on my Macintosh so I reluctantly spun up my Windows virtual machine. A quick glance at the podcast’s support site does note issues with Firefox & Safari using Quicktime). I would have preferred that my friends at Progress use a universal audio player that just works, without any heavy lifting, across Windows, Mac or Linux; nevertheless I persisted. Take that as a compliment Dan!

Dan’s surmises that “SOA is dead, long live SOA” . He states that the Architecture of SOA is gone but the Services remain in the Cloud and SaaS worlds.
I think it is just semantics. and other SaaS providers don’t call their offering SOA, but rather Software as a Service. Cloud computing is just a paradigm for software offered somewhere in the Internet cloud and accessed using a browser or another service. So, I don’t think SOA is dead, rather it is perhaps a tired term that has recast itself as a SaaS in a Cloud, a cluster of services offered for consumption by people and other services.

Call it SOA, Cloud or SaaS the offering still needs to be secured, as it consist mostly of XML packets destined for a consumer or provide:

  • The XML stream should be properly rendered and parsed to comply with a standard; rejected if it contains nefarious data.
  • Data should only be allowed to pass, like an aeroplane passenger at the security checkpoint, if it is properly authenticated (identified) and authorized (entitled) with an audit trail showing who went where.
  • Provide the option of signing and encrypting the data.

The names for rain clouds in the sky today, stratus, cumulus, cirrus etc, derive from Latin – a language long considered dead. But it lives on for scientists who study meteorology, while the rest of us still need an old fashioned umbrella to keep dry!


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