There's nothing journalists like better than an easy piece of copy to write (actually, there are several things they like more: lunch at a Michelin-starred restaurant, test match tickets, a jucy bit of gossip ... but an easy bit of copy will do for starters).

An easy bit of copy is any one that features bad news - particulalry if the word "backlash" figures prominently; one that contains a 'hot' technology and one that contains an eye-catching headline,

So a report that says "Rumors of SOA adoption rates are exaggerated," is a gift. Particulaly when it goes on to say that SOA is "pretty far along the hype curve," and is "now suffering some backlash". The fact that journalists have been party to a lot of the hyping means nothing, as there's no such thing as shame in the news media.

The Nucleus Research and KnowledgeStorm study, Benchmarking: Service-Oriented Architecturepoints out that, for all the brouhaha, SOA within an enterprise often ends with a single project or, at best, a few projects that seriously inhibit the chances of delivering any form of return on investment, that holy grail of all IT projects.

"The findings are that generally, people are not getting a large amount of return on investment on SOA," O'Connell said. "Only a minority of companies are getting a return on investment on SOA."

This goes against the grain of course: SOA has been hyped as the way to integrate projects better; as a way to reuse software more effectively; improve productivity, be more cost-effective and for all I know make better cups of tea.

In fact, as Nucleus and KnowledgeStorm point out, enterprises have failed to train staff properly, failed to pay for the registries needed to make SOA more effective; failed to appoint SOA evangelists to promote the technology and fail to recognise that developers are more adept at creating code than re-using someone else's (especially if the documentation's not up to scratch).

Ain't it always the way. Those are conditions that are not the sole preserve of SOA, a failure to pay for training and invest in the correct tools has bedevilled so many IT projects and technologies over the years.

Still, it's not all doom and gloom for SOA hypesters. A software company, Serena, has launched a tool that it claims turns end users into SOA programmers - that's one way to solve the staff shortage I suppose.