Sunday, 17 May 2009

How Cloud computing will drive Enterprise Integration

In a few recently witnessed presentations it was extraordinary to see how two utterly unrelated matters were seamlessly joined together on the same slide

I'm talking about virtualisation and Cloud computing on the one hand, and world-wide-web services on the other hand

These two entirely different worlds (physical iron infrastructure versus logical business functionality) have been more often associated together over the last months, but it seems to be getting a bit out of hand now

How can physically relocating infrastructure give you fully disclosed backend systems? Of course it can't. It will force you to adhere to a few standards here and there, but that's all on the (rather dull) infrastructural level.

But the highly dynamic art of aligning business functionalities with changing IT applications on the inside, and yet wobbly standards (SOAP, Web Services) on the outside is galaxies apart from that. And yet, the suggestion that the first will give you the latter is being repeated like a mantra in an increasing frequency

That's not necessarily bad news of course. Anything that will make for a solid business case to "freeze" an application landscape so it can be properly serviced, is a good excuse
It's just funny how the 3-letter word is being avoided since a year or so, while now the same promises are being suggested by virtualisation and Cloud computing

It almost seems like this service-idea has a mind of its own, parasiting like an alien from one body to the other. It sucked the life out of SOA (huh?! wassat?) and now has safely lodged itself in the hard world of iron-crushing virtualisation

Less iron on the bottom, great services on top: the thing missing in the middle is Integration, or EDI.
Align your applications with A2A (application to application integration) for singling out and re-using functionalities so you can directly align your business process to single IT functionalities. If you have your act together in this way, you can disclose these internal functionalities to the outside world, to please your partners or customers. Partners will participate in B2B (business to business), customers will be happy with your B2C (business to consumer)
It sounds simple, and it is simple, but it really has nothing to do with the people kicking your backend into the Cloud

So, I think it's good news. The real EDI experts are somewhat left alone in solving this riddle, unlike SOA where people claimed to have 20 years experience in something that was invented only months before

Let's just not spread the word then, and hope that after the last troubled 5 years of ESB and SOA we can go back to business as usual
Cloud computing, cloud computing, cloud computing, cloud computing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

2 reacties:

Tracey Ganesh said...

Thanks for the insightful post. It reminds me of this webinar recording (linked to below) that breaks down cloud computing applications into four groups (Software as a Service, Integration as a Service, Platform as a Service, and Infrastructure as a Service). It also gives some helpful rules of thumb on when it makes sense to consider moving something to the cloud. Here is the link in case you're interested:

Martijn Linssen said...

Thank you Tracey!

Maybe it's the confusion about having one abbreviation for two definitions, but I hardly ever see Integration as a Service being mentioned

Maybe we should just call it Business as a Service, for in fact that's what it is

Thanks for the link, I'll listen to it when I find the time, hopefully soon

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