InfoWorld SOA Executive Forum: Building apps on the SOA platform

The title of my second panel at the upcoming SOA Forum is "Building applications on the SOA platform." I'll be joined on May 5 by Tim Ewald (Mindreef), Edwin Khodabakchian (Oracle), John Shewchuk (Microsoft), and Annrai O'Toole (Cape Clear). (On May 17, it'll be Microsoft's Dino Chiesa instead of John Shewchuk.) Here are a few examples of the kinds of questions I'd like this panel to address:

on objects, components, and services: Roger Sessions suggests the following definitions: objects share common operating system processes and execution environments; components cross process boundaries; services cross process and environment boundaries. Do we agree with these definitions? If so, what do they imply for service-oriented development?

on declarative versus procedural methods: SOA moves toward a declarative style in a number of ways. The properties of inter-application communication tend to be stated declaratively, not coded procedurally. Integration tends to become a contract-governed and data-driven affair. Workflows and business rules are further examples of a declarative trend. Eventually, of course, somebody has to write some code. Where and how does procedural logic intersect with these declarative techniques? And who's doing the declaring: programmers, business modelers, or both?

on tools: The first example of service-enabled tooling was the now-ubiquitous ability to browse for and attach services from within an integrated development environment. What other features characterize current SOA tools? Where are they headed? And finally, is there a risk that, by becoming too dependent on complex protocols and specialized tools, we'll lose the agility that SOA draws from its web roots?

on testing and debugging: SOA is, among other things, an "architecture of intermediation." As applications increasingly communicate using self-describing XML messages, how does the ability to inspect those message flows create new ways to test and debug software?

As before, feel free to target comments or suggestions to the tag InfoWorldSOA2005, or to me directly in email.

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