Friday, May 12, 2006

Service Oriented Content

I had a great conversation with my colleague and Senior Architect Sam Leung this week regarding the concept of SOC (Service Oriented Content) and COS (Content Oriented Services).

I declare here loudly and boldly that this is the first time these acronyms have been coined! All and future arguements regarding the origin of these brilliant acronyms will be settled by referal to the web archives :-)

I will touch on this topic next week at the AIIM conference and plan to write an article outlining this topic further, but in short:-

SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) is now past the very early adopter phase, and is proven as a logical and valid concept. Many of Wipro's clients are embarking (or are already well down the road) to building and designing SOA's that are enterprise wide. Yet many have till now largelly ignored the issue of unstructured data. The leading vendors, though shouting SOA loudly, have in fact been very slow to respond and find a place in the architectural layer. Why this is, could be for many reasons too complex to go into here. Nevertheless ECM has been a bit of a SOA wallflower todate.

Yet in strategy discussion with large enterprises - even though they don't neccesarily talk about ECM as such, unstructured data is moving rapidly up the agenda. For if we look five or ten years down the road, and recognize the layered approach to computing that SOA promises, then we need not just usable webservices, but content designed and managed specifically to feed these services (Services Oriented Content), likewise we will build Content Oriented Services, and arguably are already doing so in some basic ways.

Its a complex topic that deserves more than my cursory mention here - and as I say I and my colleagues will write more on this in the future. But the concept is one I believe worth considering, for it raises questions of - how we should build and structure object models and repositories that can layer seamlessly into the infrastructure - provides thought for how we can build more exciting and usable pull as well as push applications - what are the opportunities and challenges for SUN, Oracle, Microsoft, IBM - how does this fit into the convergence of Telco and IT we envision in the future etc etc

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