SOA forum, March 06 edition

I'll be in San Francisco tomorrow for the latest installment of InfoWorld's series of SOA events. Last time I unwisely signed myself up for six panels plus a prepared talk, and managed to fry my circuits. So this time I'm focusing my efforts on just two panels. Both, however, will address meaty topics.

Here's the first one:

How services communicate
Developers can choose from a variety of communication methods as they create services, including remote procedure calls, message-oriented middleware, and document transfer. What are the implications of these different styles for interoperability, tool support, and developer training?

This topic was originally inspired by Tim Ewald's comments here, and also by Jeff Schneider's (and Frank Martinez's) important notion of a tolerance continuum. I'll be fascinated to see how Jeff, Eric, Dave, and Adam -- coming from different perspectives and bringing a wealth of relevant experience -- will expand on these ideas.

Here's the second topic:

Managing version change: social and technical challenges for service evolution
Managing interface versions as they evolve over the course of the software lifecycle is an age-old problem. What new challenges and opportunities does SOA bring to the table? Topics will include the social etiquette required when you've deployed services to a large population of consumers, as well as the technical strategies for surviving in an increasingly interconnected world of services.

This one was suggested by Jim Culbert, who is feeling pain in this area, and whose newly-launched blog offers some thoughts. He and Maja Tibbling are both practitioners who have lived through several generations of software versioning and will reflect on their experiences. Adam Trachtenberg speaks knowledgeably about the community-oriented approach that eBay uses to manage the evolution of its service APIs. And John deVadoss points to patterns and best practices for service versioning.

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