The intersection between HR strategy and HR technology


What’s the Difference Between Web 2.0 and SOA?

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I almost want to say that these are two often confused technologies that have nothing to do with each other, but that’s going a bit too far. Earlier this week I was reading the Knowledge Infusion blog and they had this to say:

Many in the Knowledge Infusion community continue to ask questions about the difference between SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) and Web 2.0. ((Knowledge Infusion, July 16, 2007. “The Merging of SOA and Web 2.0: The Future of HR Technology Deployments.”))

By “Knowledge Infusion community” I assume we’re talking about the HR clients of Knowledge Infusion. However, the thought that there is confusion over these technologies made me decide that a post was in order. First of all, let me point you back to the Knowledge Infusion post with excerpts from an eWeek article describing Web 2.0.

Service Oriented Architecture: SOA is really a back end technology that assists in the integration of disparate technologies. Putting it simply, you should never see this stuff. SOA will simply help your organization (or your HR technology team) bring together the HRMS, payroll, benefits, talent etc. vendors into a seamlessly working and cohesive unit.

Web 2.0: Web 2.0 is a constantly shifting set of technologies that is user facing. Rather than integrating data, these technologies are bringing communities together and presenting information in a more usable fashion. If you think about the wiki, this is the type of technology we’re talking about.

What’s interesting is that at some point, these two technologies do need to meet, and Knowledge Infusion is right in saying that this point will transform the future of HR technology deployments. What we’re really talking about is a completely integrated user interface that combines the best of usability with integration and process workflows. As technology vendors bring forward the benefits of newfound integration from SOA, they’ll find the added presentation complexities can be solved through Web 2.0 user interface.

I hate it every time I talk about SOA or Web 2.0 that I end the post with a “we’ll see what happens” comment, but that’s mostly true. It’s fun to vision the future however, and project the types of changes we’re seeing on an almost daily basis in Google to what might lay ahead for HR.

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