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No More Coding From Scratch? 323

Posted by Cliff
from the digging-through-the-automation dept.
Susan Elliott Sim asks: "In the science fiction novel, 'A Deepness in the Sky,' Vernor Vinge described a future where software is created by 'programmer archaeologists' who search archives for existing pieces of code, contextualize them, and combine them into new applications. So much complexity and automation has been built into code that it is simply infeasible to build from scratch. While this seems like the ultimate code reuse fantasy (or nightmare), we think it's starting to happen with the availability of Open Source software. We have observed a number of projects where software development is driven by the identification, selection, and combination of working software systems. More often than not, these constituent parts are Open Source software systems and typically not designed to be used as components. These parts are then made to interoperate through wrappers and glue code. We think this trend is a harbinger of things to come. What do you think? How prevalent is this approach to new software development? What do software developers think about their projects being used in such a way?"
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No More Coding From Scratch?

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  • by bigtallmofo (695287) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @07:11PM (#16719795)
    The promise of SOA says that you won't have to do this. If you believe in that promise then anyone that develops projects in the future will create them in discrete elements that are accessible as a web service. If you want to start a new development project, just utilize those services that you need and ignore the ones you don't. Because the functionality is encapsulated (and therefore, written, debugged and tested) within the service you're good to go.

    I see application projects in the future acting like glue that holds many services like this together and makes them more than the sum of their parts.
  • by twiddlingbits (707452) on Saturday November 04, 2006 @10:59PM (#16721451)
    SOA does not require everything to be made into a web service to be useful and accessible. A service-oriented architecture is NOT tied to a specific technology and may be implemented using interoperability standards including RPC, DCOM, ORB or WSDL or anything else for that matter as long as the interface is defined and published. An application that wants to use the services just builds a contract with the service and off you go. The implementation of the interface is hidden so it could be in .NET, Java, C++, etc. Web Services was the baby steps of SOA, now vendors are talking about doing it with entire applications (EAI). For those of us who have been around software for the last 25 yrs, this is just a re-working of the 1980's Software Engineering where we called it abstraction, modular, encapsulation, and loose-coupling. Reference the programming models for Ada and Ada95 for example. The evolution is in the generalized definition and acceptance of a set of industry standard mechanisms for defining and implementing the interface contracts versus one-off versions written for a specific application. The premise of the Sci-fi story is already beginning to come true. In fact, if you look at a lot of the older sci-fi a LOT of those suppositions about technology (and some about society) have come true.

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