Rohit’s SynOA takes the “Sin” out of SOA

September 24, 2007 § 1 Comment

Many years ago, my buddy Rohit Khare introduced me to a guy named Roy Fielding, and tried to explain how this whole web services thing was going in completely the wrong direction. To be honest, I didn’t understand what the big deal was, particularly since I wasn’t really working with those technologies. Alas, neither did the rest of the industry which was rushing headlong into what become Service-Oriented Architectures.

Fast forward to 2006, when I finally understood (and became enamored of) Roy’s RESTful architectures (which I helped pitch to DHH for Rails 1.2). The problem now was figuring out how to help people understand REST in terms of a specific implementation, rather than Roy’s highly abstract architecture. Several of us have experimented with using the excellent Atom Publishing Protocol (APP) as both a model and foundation for building a RESTful alternative to traditional web services, but that was as far as we went.

Rohit (as usual) went one step further by coining (and describing) the term Syndication-oriented architecture at the Gartner Financial Service Technology Summit. The key idea (IMHO) is to use the additional constraints of REST in general, and APP in particular, to minimize variance and thus enable greater interoperability. His initial paper was published by KnowNow on August 27, 2007, but only noticed by a few folks like Bruce MacVarish. The meme didn’t really gather steam until Rohit was interviewed by Jon Udell. That was in turn blogged in Kurt Cagle’s O’ReillyNet column (among others), and as of September 24th I count over 10,000 Google hits for “SynOA syndication.”

I think SynOA could well turn out to be the “tipping point” for both REST and Syndication; though obviously we still have a long way to go

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