Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
I am sitting here at the US Open at what ESPN calls the best day of tennis at the US Open yet! We are hosting a set of customers here at the IBM suite (yes,this is the way to see tennis!) I got to see 2 unseeded men's double teams, Martina Navratilova with her double partner Petrova and tonight is Federer and Blake. It was a great day, great sun, and perfect games. Funny, I went shopping for my mother in law and saw Lauren and Lacoste and other name brands selling cool US Open logoed wear. Interesting how things have changed!
Now why I am here besides the tennis and weather? Well, of course, SOA is behind the US Open!! How?
Well, IBM has been the US Tennis Association’s official IT partner since 1990 because it can do things like support the 27 million visits that came from all around the world to the US Open’s web site for live scores in 2005.
Thumbnail sketch of how score updates happen: Umpires officiating each of the US Open matches hold a device in their hands that they use to keep score. All these devices feed into a database which holds all the scores from all the matches. From there, the constantly changing score information is fed to servers that can be accessed by people like you and me through the US Open web site.When score updates are sent to the Web servers, they begin their journey in a format that is incompatible for use by the Web servers. IBM uses WebSphere software to transform messages in-flight between one protocol and another so that when the message arrives, it’s usable.
All this takes place without ever altering or touching the source information. This WebSphere software has the ability to transform the messages into dozens of different formats simultaneously so that the same information can be used by many different kinds of consumers at the same time. Score information is less than 7 seconds old by the time it reaches computer screens and it reaches tens of thousands of users simultaneously.
US Open achieves outstanding flexibility by accomplishing the repeatable business tasks that make up its scoreboard processes with modular, interchangeable software services. This is a hallmark of SOA.When a match begins or ends, when a game is won, or when a point is scored, these are examples of “events”. SOA from IBM gives US Open the ability to sense and detect events such as these and trigger an appropriate reaction or response with is based on business rules.
Without the flexibility that comes from SOA, US Open would have had to custom-code the system and then suffer the cost, risk, and expense of re-coding it every time they wanted to make a change. The US Open Web site’s volume of traffic spikes to 50 times its annual average during the tournament and then falls back to a trickle during the off season. The infrastructure to support this massive jolt relies on a concept called “virtualization” which allows US Open to handle huge loads without having to over-invest in a bloated infrastructure that sits idle in the middle of winter.
Check it out!! US Open Site!!
This stuff is so very cool!!!!
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Well, I have been in a whirlwind couple of weeks of travel around our 1H SOA announcements.
We started with the IMPACT event in Orlando. It was great seeing many of you there! The announcements, the great people, the partners... all were very energizing!
What did we announce? A set of announcements in Business Impact, Technical Impact, and Personal Impact. This blog will focus on the Business Impact announcements!! Let me hear from you on what questions you have!!
Well, first we had announcements in the Business Impact area.We announced 8 SOA Industry Roadmaps in 6 different industries. What is an SOA Industry Roadmap? It is an end to end horizontal view of how to get started with quick time to value with SOA enabling key processes by industry. The roadmaps have 2 parts to them: a Business Blueprint and SOA Industry Frameworks.
The Business Blueprint is a set of thought-leadership papers to help outline industry challenges and some solutions. These thought-leadership papers then drill into specific business scenarios, describing how those processes are typically run today and how they will be improved in the future with SOA. Each thought-leadership paper also includes a recommended SOA entry point so businesses know the best place to start to drive immediate business benefits. (The SOA Entry Points are People, Process, Information, Reuse and Connectivity.
IBM SOA Industry Roadmaps also include IBM SOA Industry Frameworks that provide industry-specific content available from IBM to support a client’s solution. IBM SOA Industry Frameworks contain composite business services and IBM Business Partner content that are built on a common foundation. Composite business services are packaged, interrelated, reconfigurable groups of optional software modules called business services that perform individual tasks tailored to the relevant industry’s users, policies and methods. The foundation on which they are built is made up of industry-specific domain models and defined product capabilities from the IBM SOA software portfolio. The SOA Industry Roadmaps that we announced are:*Banking (payments), to help realize a significant return on investment in electronic payments processing *Healthcare (member enrollment), to improve provider loyalty *Healthcare (benefits and eligibility verification), to optimize the benefit and eligibility inquiry process used by providers *Insurance (agent collaboration), to provide real-time access to policy, claims and related data through multiple modes of communication *Industrial: Product Lifecycle Management - Supply Chain Collaboration *Retail store integration, to deliver a personal shopping experience *Telecommunications (OSS), to improve order-to-cash efficiencies *Telecommunications (Internet Protocol [IP] multimedia service), to speed time to market for new converged voice, video and data services
If you see other processes that we should focus on? We have been planning out the next set of deliveries and I'd love to see your feedback on industries and processes.
See the next blog for the Technical Impact Announcements!!!
I just attended the Gartner BPM conference in San Diego. There were over 1000 attendees -- growing considerably from last year's conference. It was a very interesting conference -- starting with Simon Hayward's Keynote walking through critical success factors for BPM. This was the talk of town -- there was a lot of discussion on the keys to success for BPM enabled by SOA.
I had lots of discussion on "What BPM is?" -- a discipline that involves thoughtful focus on process -- selecting the right process to focus on, looking at the organization, the culture, and the way you manage process improvement and innovation. Also I had lots of great discussions on the required Software Capbilitty and the value of SOA (Which to me is when you see the real value of BPM -- with SOA flexibility !)
IBM is investing heavily in BPM, and have seen numerous clients from small to enterprise across every industry see its value in growing their competitive advantage. We introduced 5 starting points -- flexible starting points -- to assist customers to deploy BPM with SOA at the rate and pace they need for real business results. The 5 starting points are Modeling and Simulation, Monitoring, Rules and Frameworks, Content centric processing, and process choregraphy. We have also expanded our BPM with SOA capability and expertise showing off the WebSphere Business Services Fabric, the BPM methodology, the SOA business catalog, the Filenet BPM capabilities, and new process models based on opens standards like PCF.
I also saw some great customers talking about their lessons learned. Speaking with me on stage was ANZ -- Barry McGibb - and he did a great job outlining his vision and approach for BPM with SOA. Another favorite of mine was the customer speaker - Tom -- from Sloan!
The biggest debates that I heard at the conference were:1) How to align business and IT and get them as excited about BPM as IT is. In fact, about 40% of the attendees at this conference were from the business side.
2) The second was the relationship of BPM and SOA -- in fact Darryl Plummer did a great talk on how BPM and SOA are joined at the hip. Here are my thoughts on the subject that we recently had published!!
The role of Business Process Management in a Service Oriented Architecture StrategySandy Carter, Vice President, SOA and WebSphere Strategy, Channels and Marketing, IBM
In today's competitive environment where companies are merging, consolidating and striving to uncover new growth opportunities, savvy business leaders are recognizing the value that comes from working more closely with information technology (IT) professionals.
Driven in large part by the growing adoption rates of a service oriented architecture (SOA) strategy, more and more organizations are realizing that the alignment of IT and business delivers tangible results and significant returns in terms of productivity, competitive advantage and cost savings.
However, to seize these new opportunities and realize the benefits that can be derived from an SOA, companies need to streamline their business processes and eliminate the recreation of the wheel that too often happens when an organization and its technology resources are locked into silos.
For example, these business processes can include such functions as ordering supplies, reimbursing expenses or booking business travel. When each department or team within a larger organization has its own ‘system’ to handle these types of business processes, it may prove effective for a smaller subset of the company but is largely ineffective for the entire business. Consider the advantages that can be reaped in terms of productivity and cost savings when there is an agreed upon approach to filing an expense report or automating travel requests.
Addressing these issues and uncovering ways to automate and improve business processes without requiring additional resources is top of mind for today’s organizations as they aim to more effectively and efficiently compete in an ever changing marketplace. This growing need has led to the rise of the business process management (BPM) market.
The Growing Demand for BPMBPM is a discipline combining software capabilities and business expertise to accelerate process improvement and facilitate business innovation. One could argue that BPM is based on the principles of SOA with both aiming to empower the organization to more quickly respond to changing market conditions that result from planned events such as mergers and acquisitions or external influences such as competitor moves.
There are several factors driving the increased focus on BPM. These include the need to:
Ensure consistency throughout the company, especially with regard to compliance;Optimize processes for maximum efficiency;Automate manual processes to reduce time consuming administrative tasks;Integrate complex, redundant processes to avoid the constant recreation of the wheel;Mitigate risks through a single, unified view of the organization.
A successful BPM solution will take existing processes, streamline them to meet business goals and ultimately impact the bottom and top lines in a positive way. The value of BPM is further evidenced by the results that can be realized from business and IT working more closely together. One of the most significant benefits is the fact that BPM helps to put business process control in the hands of business managers. By providing decision makers with up-to-date business information, BPM allows them to make better decisions immediately without relying on IT support.
The Role of Business Process Management in an SOABPM is growing in popularity and is complementary to SOA due to its ability to help make business processes more efficient and effective while enabling an organization to more easily adapt to changing business requirements.
BPM based on SOA is technology’s response to the growing demand for a flexible business environment that is not hindered by application silos.
When business processes are automated and streamlined and supported by a strong SOA governance framework, BPM can deliver on its promise of transforming IT processes to dynamically adapt to business needs. For these reasons, BPM is being widely embraced. In fact, analysts at IDC state that the BPM tools market will reach $3 billion by 2009.
The powerful combination of BPM to streamline business processes within an SOA strategy will help position companies to become industry leaders while ensuring they are poised for continued success.
For this to happen, however, business processes must become independent of specific information resources and specific task automation applications. Specifically, the integration technology must loosely couple the applications and resources that make up the process, otherwise the logic of a process will get hard-coded into a particular technology platform, which may be expensive to change and therefore defeat the entire purpose of BPM.
Business Process Modeling: The ‘Other’ BPMThe need to model business processes before they are deployed in an SOA is becoming increasingly more important, especially as the demand for BPM continues to rise. First, however, let’s understand that BPM is both a management discipline and a technology platform and that modeling is a complementary and critical aspect within a larger BPM strategy.
As a management discipline, BPM replaces traditional views of business based on discrete functional organizations, systems, and metrics with those based on cross-functional core processes aligned with high-level business objectives. As a technology platform, BPM provides the set of software tools needed to optimize performance, make abstract performance goals concrete, connect them to process data, automate and monitor process activities, and provide a platform for agile performance improvement.
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  business_process_mgmt service_registry service_component_arch composite_apps 771 Visits
A lot of discussions have occured around semantics for SOA. Any thoughts on these definitions for SOA "terms"..
Service – a repeatable business task represented by a software module deployed on network accessible platforms provided by the service provider. Its interface is described by a service description. It exists to be invoked by or to interact with a service requestor. It may also function as a requestor.
Service Orientation – an approach to integrate business tasks as loosely coupled, linked services
Service Oriented Architecture –An architectural style of the structure of a software system in terms of its components and the services they provide, without regard for the underlying implementation of these components, services and connections between components
Composite application - a set of related & integrated services that support a business process built on an SOA
Components - Definition of a modular unit of functionality, accessed through one or more interfaces. A component may be composed of other components, but a component is not necessarily a service.
Service Component Architecture (SCA) - a set of specifications which describe a model for building applications and systems using a Service-Oriented Architecture. SCA extends and complements prior approaches to implementing services, and SCA builds on open standards such as Web services.
Business Process Management - Covers the full range of application-to-application, inter-application, workflow and person-to-person process management, including process design, automation, management, and continuous improvement.
Service Registry - a searchable registry of service descriptions where service providers may publish their service descriptions. Service requestors may find services and obtain binding information (in the service descriptions) for services during development for static binding or during execution for dynamic binding.[Read More]
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OK. I admit it. I am hooked -- the Wii and even my daughter's DS! That's why I love this SOA reference!
Sega, as a computer game company has received worldwide praise. While focusing on their core content, Sega as a company has produced entertainment products and services one after another. In recent years it has released hit products creating a market for children’s computer entertainment, including “Mushi [Bug] King, The King of Beetles”.
The company aims at dynamically developing businesses with unique products that can create new game markets, like the first ever sensory video games, “Hang-on”, and “UFO Catcher” did in the past. New ideas and new ideas are the two most important requirements for succeeding in doing this, though of course since it is also necessary to smoothly hitch a timely ride on market trends, speed is essential for such development. This means that the information systems supporting such development, must also be very fast.
To meet this demanding business landscape, Sega had to rethink their IT systems to enable business. They decided that the solution was to build a human workflow system using Business Process Execution Language (hereinafter “BPEL”) with a Service Oriented Architecture. It could then define things like service orders and branches accessed during business processes.
For the execution environment for the BPEL human workflow system, they use IBM WebSphere Process Server IBM WebSphere Integration Developer for development. The basic principle was to start small, and initially it focused on building a new human workflow engine and a new payment slip workflow system which use BPEL for its basic functions.
After implementing this, the project grew to be company wide. Their business processes included circular memoranda of approval and 30 old workflow systems that would have been wasteful to just eliminate them, but remaking them would have been very costly. So they decided to take an SOA approach and to wrap as services the processes of the old workflow systems, allowing them to seamlessly connect with the new workflow system. What the users see is identical to what they saw before, and the application procedures are as simple to use as they were previously.
When it is demanded, each unit of existing assets is individually wrapped so through loose coupling the new system can access it as a service, thus making real the potential of SOA while designing a new process layer.The system is extremely agile and productive from the design and development stage through operational implementation.[Read More]
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This is a REALLY awesome article!
This story from Businessweek profiles IBM's software business, the impact of the recent acquisitions and the importance of service oriented architecture as "the next big thing" for IBM.
A few highlights include;
Here's the big surprise: Big Blue's $16.8 billion software business now contributes even more profit to the bottom line than services, and it's just now emerging as the $91 billion company's most dependable growth engine. "Software is not only the fastest-growing but the most entrepreneurial and the most profitable part of IBM," says analyst Bob Djurdjevic of Annex Research.
The profit picture for software is even prettier. Annex Research estimates that for 2006, software will account for 20% of IBM's revenues but 37% of its profits.
The most successful products fall within the so-called "middleware" segment—software that sits between computer operating systems and run-the-business applications like payroll that a company's executives and employees use day to day. IBM leads the $80 billion middleware market with an 18% share ($12.6 billion in revenues last year), compared with less than 10% shares for Oracle and Microsoft.
Now a fundamental shift is taking place in middleware that could light a fire under IBM's software business. More and more, companies are using a new kind of technology called service-oriented architectures (SOA) for building new computer systems or revamping old ones.
SOA allows companies to build new applications faster, reuse older software, and reuse the new components they create. So it's fast and efficient. No wonder an April survey of chief information officers by Merrill Lynch showed that 87% of them expect SOA to be the " next big thing" in enterprise computing. IBM is already the leader in SOA, and that puts it in a great position to benefit from its soaring popularity.
Mills' group has a 44% share of the market, compared with 13% for second-ranked Sun Microsystems and 10% for BEA Systems, according to WinterGreen Research.
Motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson (HDI ) shows how SOA works—IBM-style. The company has a vast portfolio of applications for running every aspect of its business. But it found that once its applications are created they're very hard to change. So it bought IBM software and hired IBM consultants to revamp its systems using SOA technologies so they can be more flexible.
To make life simpler for customers, IBM last month introduced a catalog of premade components and a collection of templates designed for more than 15 industries. It developed these pieces in the course of more than 2,000 SOA engagements. The Webify purchase adds pages to the catalog, since Webify has focused on components and templates for the telecommunications industry and government.
> The Full Article Link [Read More]
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I am just back from Dubai where I saw a lot of the marina area. (More on Dubai later!)
So I thought of Crowley Maritime for our SOA story time who operates globally in a variety of businesses with a mantra of “Small Company Mentality, Big Company Efficiency.” Founded in 1892, and family run ever since, Crowley Maritime began with a single 18 ft. rowboat servicing ships and sailors in San Francisco Bay.
Their primary logistics operations are based here in Florida. Over the following century, the Crowleys have grown and transformed the business into a major provider of maritime services ranging from tugs and barges to containerships, with operations from Central America and the Caribbean to Alaska’s North Slope.
Their CEO is not guiding a carefully paced streamlining and repositioning of the company to meet the new challenges of its second century of operations. As Crowley Maritime has grown, it has accumulated business lines and strategies that needed reexamining and improvement in light of changing market conditions that have made ‘return to core competencies’ the new reality for many industries. Crowley turned to SOA as the foundation for reshaping their business for the next century.
The started with IBM Advanced Enterprise Service Bus as the backbone for corporate integration to connect disparate application components without each application component having complete dependency on other application components by service enabling existing assets. One early benefit was a reduction — by at least half — of the usual time and costs incurred in tying new, third-party applications into the Crowley core infrastructure, which included a legacy mainframe-based customer-information system. With a 30-year-old system that was heavily customized, this was no small achievement. Under previous practices, integration projects typically ate up about 300 work hours of people in the Crowley information technology group. More important for Crowley Maritime were the strategic benefits, which are part of the ongoing savings and increased operational efficiencies. Early results were seen when a major business initiative at Crowley was launched.
This major initiative, implementation of a transportation management system for inter-modal transportation, was purchased and effectively “plugging into” the adapter framework and the ESB. This particular inter-modal transportation management system automates the routing of Crowley cargo containers — several hundred per day — to dozens of terminals across North America. The application manages and improves operational efficiency of the intermodal portion of Crowley Maritime’s ocean shipping business. As the first true test of the ability of the Crowley Service Oriented Architecture to easily integrate with a substantial package, the adapter framework and Enterprise Service Bus performed above expectations and with unprecedented flexibility. They began to see immediate operational efficiencies.
The routes chosen were, on average, better, cheaper and faster. They raised the quality of services and increased customer satisfaction. The ability to create services for legacy applications has subsequently added life to legacy applications that were not ready for replacement (due to years of heavy customization and unique abilities of that existing package).[Read More]
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I love my iPhone. My husband would say it is my best friend! I use the iPhone apps from it to see the movie times, the weather (yes all that snow up here in the NE!), and even work!! (If you know of great iPhone apps please let me know!!) So it is exciting to see mobile providers using SOA to even provide more capabilities!
mBlox, the world’s largest mobile transaction network, enables businesses to deliver mobile services and content around the world. Specializing in global operator connectivity and mobile billing, mBlox maintains connections to more than 500 mobile operators in over 180 countries through its carrier-grade network. With the increasing maturity and standardisation of the mobile messaging market, mBlox wanted to simplify its IT platform to deliver greater efficiencies, accelerate speed-to-market, and reduce the costs of change.
Replacing its custom-developed billing system with an off-the-shelf solution and integrating it across the enterprise was a first priority. mBlox built a service-oriented architecture around 3rd party billing and accounting software.
The services are orchestrated by IBM WebSphere Process Server and surfaced through an IBM WebSphere Portal server front-end. The solution was created using a suite of IBM Rational requirements management and software development tools. Billing runs that used to take up to 10 days can now be completed within just 36 hours. Process-driven service-oriented architecture enables rapid development of new applications by reusing and orchestrating existing components, allowing mBlox to set up services for new mobile carriers within half a day.
Check out more details at http://w3-01.ibm.com/sales/ssi/cgi-bin/ssialias?infotype=RF&subtype=CS&htmlfid=STRD-7MDMUK&appname=crmd[Read More]
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There are just a few short days until IBM Impact 2007 Enroll me now IBM’s largest ever event for SOA and WebSphere! Right now we’ve got about 4,000 registered attendees, who will hear the best that IBM and our customers have to offer… with dynamic keynotes, over 325 technical sessions, a hands-on SOA solution center, and much more.
If you can’t get to Orlando, I have some GREAT news. We think it’s so important for you to stay informed, that we will be bringing our opening keynotes directly to you – virtually – through the IBM Theater on Second Life, the 3D online digital world!
So on May 21st grab your avatar - and a front row seat – and join us in the IBM Theater SOA HUB starting at 8:30 a.m. ET. You’ll be virtually whisked to Orlando in time to see and hear Steve Mills, Senior VP and Group Executive of IBM Software Group, and Robert LeBlanc, IBM Global General Manager for SOA, kick off IBM’s largest-ever SOA and WebSphere event. You’ll also hear from Tom Rosamilia, General Manager of WebSphere, and myself, as we talk about the Technical Impact and Personal Impact of SOA.
To participate, you must be a registered member of Second Life. Not yet registered? It’s free – visit Second Life
Don’t miss out on an Impact-adventure… join us live in Orlando… or virtually. See you there!
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Atlas Air is the world’s largest cargo airline and the world’s largest fleet operator of Boeing 747s. Over the past several years, Atlas Air’s operations had become increasingly complex and process-intensive. Its infrastructure was also complicated, comprising a variety of “homegrown” messaging applications that did not integrate well with its back-end systems. Atlas Air needed to simplify this infrastructure and coordinate the various moving parts, and it decided to do so by implementing a middleware solution that was based on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). They replaced their existing messaging system with a true enterprise service bus (ESB) through which all messages flow. They now have the ability to integrate real-time information with process workflows, improving efficiency, reducing costs and enhancing their ability to respond rapidly to customer needs.
Tell me your SOA Story!!!