Thursday, March 15, 2007

SOA: The little TLA that could

(Or, "It's not easy being green")

The skeptics among you might think that Service Oriented Architecture is just another Three Letter Acronym ... but think again. In the same 24 hour news cycle, this powerful concept has provided a new face for the Frankenstein monster of graveyard acquisitions that is Infor (see "Infor Announces SOA Roadmap" at Managing Automation) and a fig leaf to cover up the rather embarassing nakedness of the Microsoft Business Solutions code sprint to rationalize their own four ERP product lines (see "Project Green is Dead" at eWeek).

Translation for the buzzword-impaired: rather than rewrite all these products from scratch with modern technologies and a unified vision, both companies will just make a halfhearted attempt to draw connections between the various pieces.

Sigh. I liked it better when it was called EAI.

Update 4/16: Renee Boucher Ferguson at eWeek thinks the little TTC (TLA That Could) has brought down Oracle's Fusion Apps too. Dang! Is there anything this thing can't do?


  1. Actually, there is reason to view the Infor announcement as a positive. For one thing, it offers hope that clients will have part of their application perpetuated. There is no feeling quite like paying license fees to fund development of some other application that is going to be the vendor's flagship going forward while your application withers and dies.

    More importantly, if Infor is going to make this work, they will have to seriously commit to SOA. This will make it easier to get boutique applications that specialize in specific business functions integrated with Infor apps. The clients can then do the "hole in the doughnut" strategy, progressively replacing ERP functionality with specialized best-of-breed applications that focus on a specific business function.

  2. Maybe...

    You're certainly giving them the benefit of the doubt on a) intention, and b) execution.

    I would say, based on the conversations I have with former Infor customers and partners, that it's a high hurdle!