There is no doubt about it: Service-oriented architecture, or SOA, has gained acceptance as a way to exchange data previously trapped in legacy systems and isolated databases. The I.T. architecture supports the integration of business processes as linked services or repeatable business tasks that can be accessed to make those applications and databases available as "services," leveraging mechanisms such as eXtensible Markup Language to facilitate the sharing of information.
According to a study released in November 2006 by Boston-based AMR Research, 35% of executives said their companies had implemented one or more projects using SOA. A survey of 179 technology executives, published last month by CIO Insight, found that 79% expect their company's technology architecture will be based on service-oriented software, Web services and related technologies in the next five years.
Now that SOA has gained acceptance, what lessons have been learned from past deployments that can be used during future projects? Here are five suggestions, based on interviews with information-technology professionals and industry analysts.