Delimma: What the heck am I? I get to the launch event and there are three 'tracks' you can take:

  1. Developer
  2. Architect
  3. IT Pro.

Obviously, IT Pro is out the window for me. That’s fine, I can handle that (for now:P)…the problem? I consider myself neither a developer nor an architect; I’m kind of 1.5 in that respect. Let’s say I’m a code munkey aspiring to be a simian architect.

So, I decide to go the Architect route as this is the area I need direction in…the developer track was all about the goodies that you’ll find in VS.NET 2003, which I’d honestly like to get my hands dirty with to learn about, thanks.

Topic: SOA, and the platform to deliver it. I took a few notes, but the first thing on the first page says:

“Patterns and Practices”.

Can anyone else see where this is going? This was the first time I had seen this particular ‘evangelist’ (Architect Evangelist TBE…explain THAT one:) speak, so I figured what the hey, I’ll check him out.

The speaker’s name was John Opalko, and AFAIK, he’s the lead for the developercare guys out here in Houston. Interesting topic, interesting points, unfortunately about 89% of the speech seemed stripped from the pages of [insert design pattern book here]. There was plenty of DP jargon flying around this conference room. Wow.

A couple of the key concepts that I heard in this session:

  • “Just because you’re using Web Services doesn’t mean you’ve got Service Oriented Architecture.”
  • Each service handles its own state information, usually persisted to a Database.
  • SOA is Message centric, wherein the message contains context you wouldn’t expect to have from a simple method call.
  • Msg != function call.
  • Service Arch. is similar to component arch, the main difference being how state info is handled.
  • He pronounced WSDL “Whiz-duhl”…does everybody do this?
  • Each step in SOA is a transaction.
  • Services should practice “Healthy Distrust”…neat buzzword, makes sense.

Okay, more than a couple.