SOA Governance by Todd Biske – Book Review

I have been following Todd Biske ( @toddbiske) for a few years now. I was in Orlando in Oct 2008 teaching a full day course on EA in Higher Education at the Annual Educause 2008 conference and I met Mike Kavis ( @madgreek65) for lunch (via Twitter but that is another story). We talked about a bunch of EA and SOA things and he recommended Todd’s book – SOA Governance. One thing lead to another and I did not get a chance to order it until Jan 2009. Just finished reading it and found it to be an excellent start for the SOA initiative that we will be launching.

Over the past couple of years, we have made small attempts at SOA by building a few services to expose ERP functionality to our public web properties. After some discussion with our EA Solutions Council, we made an architectural decision to move away from our public web making direct calls to our backend ERP database and instead provision standards based services. Now that we will begin focusing on a formal SOA adoption strategy and I plan on leveraging Todd’s book to help us move forward and potentially avoid some of the pitfalls.

I like Todd’s definition of governance:

“Governance is the use of people, process and policy to change behaviour.”

Seems obvious when you read it but how many times to we just rush ahead focusing on one or maybe two things while completely ignoring the other, with results that are much less than what we expected?

Thanks for all your time and effort to put this book together Todd. It will be a valuable reference for me and my team as we work to move into a Service Oriented Architecture.