Service as a science

Chad Dickerson has collected links to items about our SOA forum last week, and I've tagged them. If you're coming to the New York version of the event next week, you might want to have a look at this stuff and let us know (via email, blog, or this comment link) how we can best focus the sessions to meet your needs.

Service composition was a key theme of this conference, and the hotel wound up providing an ironic commentary on that theme. The Fairmont is a grand place, I've always enjoyed being there, and nearly all of its services were exemplary, with two exceptions: Internet access and the business office.

In the first case, the DSL router was mounted on the wall in such a way that I had to pull back a heavy marble-topped table and then climb under it to reach the RJ-45 jack. As a result, my otherwise pleasant check-in experience ended badly.

In the second case, I needed to print a couple of pages of notes that I'd left on my printer at home. For this service, the hotel's business office charged me a mind-boggling $5 per page. (Just ordinary stuff, mind you, no sheepskin or gold ink.) As a result, my otherwise pleasant check-out experience ended badly.

On the way home it struck me that both of these sour notes were struck by third-party services that the hotel did not provide directly, but rather composed into its own service in ways that left ragged seams. Learning to knit those seams more tightly will be an ongoing challenge. IBM is tackling it head-on with its service as a science initiative.

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