I've posted a review of the IBM SOA governance book.
I've talked about the IBM SOA Governance Book
. I've been reading it an found it quite educational. I've now posted a review on Amazon: Make SOA Projects Predictable and Productive
. In the review, I gave the book five stars. Here's the review:
Make SOA Projects Predictable and Productive
SOA Governance: Achieving and Sustaining Business and IT Agility
is a fantastic book which shows how any service-oriented architecture project can be run more predictably and productively, decreasing cost and increasing ROI. The architects and project managers in charge of any significant SOA project should know the material in this book.
|The book is written by four very knowledgeable SOA practitioners at IBM (which also explains why it’s published by IBM Press). Books written by multiple authors often read as independent chapters that don’t flow as a book, but these authors have collaborated well to produce a consistent whole. They have distilled their knowledge of how to manage SOA projects into what is really two books in one: 1) A model for managing SOA projects via 2) A process for performing SOA projects. The latter is based on tasks which produce work products, specific concrete deliverables which make project management much more straightforward. The latter half of Chapter 3 is a catalog of governance work product types, and Chapter 4 catalogs service development work product types. These form the basis for the SOA governance model described in Chapter 5, which details step-by-step tasks in the processes for governing the development of SOA applications, tasks which create the work products described previously.|
I enjoyed all the touches of simple, practical advice spread throughout the book. One example is “Our experience has been that establishing a dedicated SOA CoE [Center of Excellence] is one of the most important organizational changes the governance planning team can make.” (p. 237) Another example is the sections titled “What Distinguishes the SOA Winners?” and “Antipatterns: Common SOA Pitfalls” (pp. 43-50) Almost every section begins with a quotation that has nothing to do with SOA governance and yet usually illustrates the section quite nicely. For example, the section on “Governance Mechanisms” (p. 33) beings with this quote attributed to Colin Powell: “Great leaders are almost always great simplifiers, who can cut through argument, debate and doubt, to offer a solution everybody can understand.”
No book is perfect, nor is this one. Chapter 6 on managing the lifecycle is not as strong and badly needs more copyediting. For example, after doing a nice job of distinguishing between processes and tasks (p. 268), other parts of the chapter start distinguishing between tasks and what are sometimes called processes but sometimes called services. I’d also quibble that they focus overly much on whether operations can be automated since it’s also valid for a task in a process to be a human task. Nevertheless, these complaints are minor in what overall is a collection of very useful information.
(Disclaimer: I, like the authors of this book, am employed by IBM.)
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