Monday, May 01, 2017

Lawrence Wilkes

My friend and former colleague Lawrence Wilkes died on Friday, after a short illness. Lawrence and I joined James Martin Associates (JMA) on the same day in 1986, so we had known each other for half a lifetime.

JMA was a small consultancy advising organizations on the use of the Information Engineering Methodology and assisting Texas Instruments in developing and supporting the IEF toolset. The Information Engineering part of the company was acquired by Texas Instruments Software in 1991. In 1997, it was sold to Sterling Software and many of us left the company. David Sprott and Lawrence set up the CBD Forum (later CBDI Forum), as a think tank for component-based development, evolving into component-based development and integration, and then evolving into service-oriented architecture (SOA).

As David has written in his fulsome tribute, he and Lawrence spent several years explaining SOA to the large technology companies, including IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Sun. (I can add that they had an article on SOA in the very first issue of the Microsoft Architecture Journal, and I co-wrote something with him for the second issue.)

For my part, I collaborated frequently with them, and became a regular contributor to the monthly CBDI Journal. When the CBDI Forum merged with the US-based consulting firm Everware, I joined Everware-CBDI as a full-time consultant for a few years, working with Lawrence and others to develop a substantial knowledgebase for service architecture and engineering. Although many of us contributed content, it was Lawrence who provided the overall structure and turned our contributions into a coherent whole.

Lawrence was a tireless innovator and perceptive industry analyst, generous with his energy and insight to colleagues and friends. It was a shock when I learned of his illness and forced retirement, and a further shock to learn of his quick demise. I will miss him.


Links

Lawrence Wilkes Blog, Slideshare

David Sprott and Lawrence Wilkes, Understanding Service-Oriented Architecture (Microsoft Architecture Journal 1, January 2004)

Lawrence Wilkes and Richard Veryard, Service-Oriented Architecture: Considerations for Agile Systems (Microsoft Architecture Journal 2, April 2004)

David Sprott, Remembering Lawrence Wilkes – SOA Pioneer (30 April 2017)

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