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Architectural Digest

8:50 AM -- This week has certainly been SOA-tastic.

On Monday, Merrill Lynch and Citibank poured forth on their SOA deployments, and then, on Tuesday, HP signed a major SOA deal with DreamWorks. (See Wall Street Eyes SOAs, Merrill Lynch, and Helps DreamWorks With SOA.) Yesterday, BEA Systems coughed up a cool $87 million for software startup Fuego. (See BEA Buys SOA Startup.)

On the surface, it looks as if we're on the crest of a services-oriented wave. For one thing, users seem to be coming out of the woodwork and talking about how they are exploiting the technology. And why not? The concept of SOA -- enabling users to run applications across a range of different platforms -- certainly makes sense.

But I think that it's worth taking a step back. IT managers may be opening up and talking about SOA, but at the same time, I have encountered precious few who are wholehearted proponents of the technology. Whether it is concern about standards, wariness about vendors, or uneasiness about the Web services that underpin an SOA, everyone seems to have some axe to grind. (See Users Send SOA SOS, SOAs: Approach With Caution, and Burton Group Over Stumbling Blocks.)

Even Skip Snow, enterprise architect at Citibank, which sees SOAs as critical to its future growth, has his reservations. Earlier this week the exec told me that he wouldn't advise Citibank to put its equity trading system onto its burgeoning SOA infrastructure, citing the inability of Web Services to provide super-fast response times. (See Web Services Hit Glass Ceiling .)

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