Samuel Johnson once said that he was astonished one day to come to the realization that he had been speaking prose all his life without realizing it. Similarly, we in the software industry often attach weighty meanings to what should be simple words and concepts. In the process, the simplicity is lost and the words intimidate us rather than support us.

Today we're laboring under what seems to be a requirement to express all of our business applications using a service-oriented architecture (SOA). When you hear the word "service," all the simple meanings seem to disappear (such as, something that serves us) and only the weight and the burden remain. To say "service" somehow automatically means using Web services for all the communication between the parts of our applications, let alone with all the other applications out there that we are required to have the ability to talk to in order to survive and prosper. It brings with it a list of groan-inducing three-and-four-letter acronyms - SOAP, WSDL, SSL, SAML - along with such a host of burgeoning standards that they have to be lumped together as WS* (read "WS splat") as you're splattered by the implications of juggling security, routing, reliability, eventing, addressing and more without dropping anything on the floor.

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