Today we wrapped up the 6th annual SOA and BP conference here in Redmond.  This was the 14th stop on the tour which continues around the world thru April.  Yesterday, I had the privilege of delivering the keynote to kick off the conference and took that opportunity to talk about both the last few weeks and the road ahead.

As we talk to customers around the world, it’s clear that the message on SOA being a “how” rather than a “what” is really sinking in.  Now we spend more of our time talking about extending Service Orientation than we do defining it.  I took a very non-Microsoft approach – instead of blathering on about technology, I instead spent time debunking the myths (which still pervade the space) and connecting customers with their peers to share what they have learned and best practices.

One thing that was clear from talking to customers this week is that the SOA landscape continues to evolve.  As I wrote months ago – the convergence of key technologies like Virtualization, Cloud, Modeling, SOA and SaaS continues at a rapid pace. It’s clear that cloud computing will have a significant impact on SOA moving forward.  So much so that one might argue that sooner rather than latter, the app pattern which is Service Orientation will be a given – much the same way that no one refers to Object Orientation as a “feature” of an app anymore.  Service Orientation will be the flour of the composite app cake.

While many have taken time to question Microsoft’s strategy with Service Orientation, what we have always said still rings true – it’s about web services, starting small and being pragmatic. We are taking Service Orientation (and as much Architecture as is needed to solve the problem) to the masses by making key components available directly in the .NET Framework.  Our investments in cloud computing will only help as developers will have additional options for instantiating services in a geo-scalable way. 

Thanks to all who attended and watched it live all over the world!  As always, tell us what you think