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SOA Manifesto: business focussed and agile

by Frank Dorst on October 29, 2009 · 2 comments

Last week, at the SOA Symposium in Rotterdam, a group of experts from various backgrounds presented a SOA Manifesto as a guideline for architects and developers. Just like the Agile Manifesto earlier, The SOA Manifesto is set of main considerations and principles.

Although I unfortunately wasn’t there at the SOA Symposium, I could follow the discussion through the blog ands Twitter channels. The result, apparently after some heated discussion, is a strong statement for business value and agility.

The manifesto states the following priorities:

  1. Business value over technical strategy;
  2. Strategic goals over project-specific benefits;
  3. Intrinsic interoperability over custom integration;
  4. Shared services over specific-purpose implementations;
  5. Flexibility over optimization;
  6. Evolutionary refinement over pursuit of initial perfection.

Although arguably a little obvious (sometimes it’s important to restate the obvious), this manifesto fits perfectly in the Lean thinking, Agile working mindset we follow at Whitehorses. Do only what brings value to the customer and do it in small steps to create results immediately. It also promotes a “start small, think big” approach to projects and architecture. No big bang, no architecture for architectures sake. Nice!

The full manifesto – priorities and guiding principles – can be found at and there are already many great blog posts about it. I would advise everybody working in architecture and development to read the manifesto and the comments (start for example with Hajo Normann and Clemens Utschig).

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{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

PeterPaul November 2, 2009 at 10:00 am

Hmm, doesn’t seem like a coincidence that the manifesto fits “Agile” as it took the “Agile Manifesto” as example ๐Ÿ˜‰
By the way did you sign the manifesto?

Peter Paul


Frank Dorst November 2, 2009 at 11:38 am

You may be right, although it’s just as easy to use the format of the Agile Manifesto to make a non Agile statement.

I am very glad they chose the Agile / interative approach, because (as we all know) SOA can very easily be a deathtrap for ambitious architects wanting to design the world.

I haven’t signed the Manifesto yet. I’ll check into that later.


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