Microsoft Seeks to Bridge Web 2.0 and SOA

 
 
By Darryl K. Taft  |  Posted 2006-02-02
 
 
 
SAN FRANCISCO—While Microsoft has not yet jumped full-fledged onto the Web 2.0 bandwagon, the company is clearly taking a good look and kicking the tires.

John deVadoss, director, architecture strategy at Microsoft, said that although Microsoft has not effectively adopted Web 2.0 as a primary focus, "there is something fundamentally happening…and if Web 2.0 is one end, then SOA [service-oriented architecture] is the other."

Tim OReilly, head of OReilly Media Inc., and Dale Dougherty, then a vice president at the company, coined the term Web 2.0 in 2004 to mean the use of the Web as a development platform, basically.

DeVadoss said Microsoft sees Web 2.0 and SOA as two edges of the same issue, with Web 2.0 supporting consumers and SOA supporting enterprises. DeVadoss spoke at the VSLive conference here.

"Web 2.0 has a lot of hype right now," deVadoss said.

The most popular Web 2.0 applications have common features such as lightweight tools, communication and the power of numbers, he said.

Meanwhile, SOA is an architectural style that follows patterns and principles, enable interoperability, facilitate agility and represent a means to an end for enterprises, he said.

Moreover, deVadoss said the edge consists of a provider and consumer model—a provider edge and a consumer edge.

The consumer edge is the peer-to-peer, Web 2.0 world and the enterprise edge is the SOA, ESB (enterprise service bus) model. In addition, the consumer edge is an asynchronous communications model based on the REST (Representational State Transfer) scheme, and the enterprise edge is based on the Simple Object Access Protocol scheme.

"REST is a dominant model on the consumer side, and SOAP is the model on the enterprise side," deVadoss said.

"As architects we have to think very hard about whats happening on the consumer edge, this Web 2.0 edge… We could wait, but I believe this is the cusp," deVadoss said.

"These edges are bridging. Its time we put the user back into SOA. We are entering this time where the user is at the center. Its not just services and users, but users and experiences. We are moving into the model of users and experiences."

DeVadoss said that while the 90s could be characterized as an era of services, the 00s is the age of users and experiences.

"More and more its the age of access. We dont want to buy things, we want to access them."

Indeed, deVadoss said the software landscape is changing and the need for a new architecture to accommodate the changes is emerging.

And the emergence of the software-as-a-service model provides for developers to create applications that operate on the edge as well as within the network cloud, he said.

To read more about SOA governance from columnist Peter Coffee, click here.

"The center of gravity moves back to the user," deVadoss said. "This is the age of access, the experience economy. This is where we see the wisdom of crowds and the democratization of innovation, content, community and commerce."

"Xbox Live is a classic example of the model with the user at the center of things," he said.

Moreover, there are business, social and technical drivers supporting this model, deVadoss said.

Business drivers include the changing business model known as the long tail, ad based revenue, transaction-based systems and subscriptions, among others, he said.

Social drivers include user-generated content, search and discovery, personalization and responsiveness, rich content, ranking and rating, he said.

And technical drivers include software and services, high levels of connectivity and bandwidth, edge power, peer-to-peer support, mesh networks, rich content support and lightweight tools.

Meanwhile, specific technologies driving the models are fueling the resurgence in lightweight technologies such as REST, AJAX (Asynchronous JavaScript and XML), RSS, Ruby on rails, Wikis, instant messaging and bots, deVadoss said.

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