Enterprise architecture isn’t

A great post from Uche, which references another great post from Dare. Dare writes;

The funny thing about a lot of the people who claim to be ‘Enterprise Architects’ is that I’ve come to realize that they tend to seek complex solutions to relatively simple problems. How else do you explain the fact that web sites that serve millions of people a day and do billions of dollars in business a year like Amazon and Yahoo are using scripting languages like PHP and approaches based on REST to solve the problem of building distributed applications while you see these ‘enterprise architect’ telling us that you need complex WS-* technologies and expensive toolkits to build distributed applications for your business which has less issues to deal with than the Amazons and Yahoos of this world?

And Uche follows up;

I’ve recently had occasion to discuss my “enterprise” credentials with some mainstream-y CIO/CTO types. It always amazes me how many of that number gaze vacantly at simple architectural ideas, and find true comfort in endless, overlapping boxes with data arrows flying in all dizzying directions, so long as those boxes are labeled “Oracle”, “SAP” and such.

Indeedy-do. I could have sworn I wrote a blog post a while ago about this, but I can’t find it… but the gist was that complexity is actually desirable to many architects (enterprise or otherwise, but more prevalent in enterprise IME) because – at least as far as I can determine – it seems to validate the importance of the problem; the more important the task, the more complexity that’s “desirable”. Obviously this is the complete antithesis of principled design.

So forget open source, open standards, software-as-a-service … the wholesale simplification of inter and enter-prise architecture by putting it on the Web, is by far, the biggest disruptive force facing – and indeed, currently shaping – our industry today.

And Uche just followed up with a beaut (why can’t I come up with these?!);

My recent experiences, and Dare’s quote, bring me to mind of the old adage: “No one ever got fired for buying IBM”. Why is there no sign of a corresponding “No one ever got fired for designing like Google”?

Sweet Uche, very sweet. But have patience, it won’t be long before that’s mainstream thinking. As one of the Dare’s commentors said (in a very lesscode/Gandhi-esque style);

First they ignore you.
Then they laugh at you.
Then they just say 'Ok, well you can exist, but our problems are
*much* more complicated, as distributing a two-phase transaction
update between 15 business partners using 3 different security
tokens types is /never/ a bad idea...'.
Then you win.

Tags: soa, rest, softwarearchitecture, enterprisearchitecture, architecture, enterprise, web, webservices.

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