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Lego Vs Playmobil SOA

The interesting discussion around Big SOA leads me to write about what I describe as Lego Vs Playmobil SOA.

Do you prefer Playmobil or Lego ?

When I was a litle boy, I used to prefer Playmobil against Lego (even if I had both). It was because I was not interested in buidling something; iI was interested in playing directly a story out of my imagination. If with Lego you wanted to invent some scenario, chances were high that you had to build the context (a car, a house, a truck) before you could start to play because Lego's ready to play items always tend to be disassembled with time (Probably another proof of the entropy law...).

Both Playmobil and Lego parts are interoperable. Lego's can be assembled because they have standard connections. Playmobil are also interoperable but at another level : the characters are all compatible with the tools, vehicules and houses.

Here is a small table to express my feelings around the difference between Playmobil Vs Lego SOA

 Concept  Playmobil  Lego 
 Functionality  Catalog Based, Simple  Catalog based but can be extended, damaged, extended, disassembled and... recomposed into genius or rubbish 
 Complexity  Understandable, Simple and functional  Complex to very complex 
 Plug&Play  Yes  No (needs to be assembled) 

Playmobil Vs Lego SOA

Playing with IT sometimes has the same taste to me. Little Vs Big SOA ressembles Lego Vs Playmobil to me.

My feeling is that as IT techies, we think about how we are going to assemble the small SOA Lego parts into a functionality for the customer. But what the Customer's Business wants is just to play immediately, Playmobil like.

Translated into SOA, Playmobil SOA services are :

  • Simple and understandable by the business
  • Rapidly put in place
  • Standard, not easilly adapted

Lego SOA Services are:

  • Complex to understand
  • not rapid to put in place (development required)
  • Standard to extremely exotic

Where to buy Lego/Playmobil Services ?

Playmobil SOA can be achieved by purchasing standard software (ECM, ERP, CRM) and assembling them with an ESB. Your playground is the Portal.

Lego SOA can be built with development tools : Web Services, J2EE, .Net, Open Source...

When to use Playmobil/Lego SOA ?

In relation to the types of Business processes (see BPTypes), Playmobil SOA services are more suited for Non-Diffentiating Services in all types of Business Processes, while you will use Lego SOA services for Differentiating Services within Differntiating Business Processes.

Lego allows you to build a completely different and unique experience. While playmobil's experience only relies on the story that you will play with standard services and the way you will assemble them.

Work SOA

Last edited on Tuesday, May 15, 2007 at 19:16:26 pm.