Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  business_process_mgmt service_registry service_component_arch composite_apps 805 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]
As I was sitting in my doctor's office (yes! I got the cast off!), I was reading through some of our recent SOA implementations and noticed that as more and more companies are seeing the power of SOA to drive business results. One of their surprises is the value they are seeing in modeling -- it seems that modeling is becoming one of the most critical steps to SOA success.
Reading more deeply and talking to several customers while icing my ankle, it seems that most companies deliver modeling to help organizations fully visualize, comprehend, and document business processes in order to close the gap that exists between an organization’s lines of business and IT’s understanding of the business drivers. Given that a business process is a defined set of activities leading to specific results, modeling provides the added assurance that best practices are well documented and communicated throughout the organization before deployment.
For example, one large insurer is having their business analysts use modeling to define alternative scenarios, differing in resource allocation, branching assumptions at decision points in the flow, and other parameters, and see which alternative results in the lowest cost, fastest average cycle time, lowest percentage of service level agreements violations, or other optimum business measure. In addition, tbecause they leveraged simulation can help reveal bottlenecks in the process, allowing new alternative scenarios to be analyzed -- resulting in significant time and cost savings before they are implemented throughout the SOA.
I believe that BPM with SOA is the keys the kingdom and SOA will help facilitate the next phase of the business process evolution. The evolution is occurring now because of the heightened need for enterprises to compete more effectively by adapting to market changes faster, continuously improving efficiencies and streamlining collaboration across traditionally siloed departments.
Well, at least it may be the key that opens the door that allows you to explore all the benefits to SOA. What are your thoughts? By the way, I have now proceeded in my recovery and hope to be walking with my cane at the NYC SOA summit -- that is sold out!
If you are one of the lucky 400 that got a seat, I'll see you there!
Til then....back to icing the ankle!
SOASOA 060000JRQN Tags:  info_as_a_svc collaboration soa_entry_points business_process_mgmt 1,118 Visits
Yesterday we announced a series of 5's for SOA.
5 SOA entry points based on a study of 500 customers from Mercer. The 5 are: People, Process, information, Reuse, and Connectivity!
We highlighted 5 Real customers using these SOA entry points for Value (Pep Boys, Harley Davidson, Delaware Electric, Magna Steyr, and Wuestenrot and Wuerttembergische AG (W and W AG).
On the business side, we have 3 entry points for customers looking to start their SOA journey! People centric collaboration, Business Process Management, Information as a service. Now we know that you could do BPM or Collaboration without SOA, but with SOA the value grows.
For instance around BPM, for many years companies have wanted the magic potion to fix, improve, modify process activity. But IT has been the biggest inhibitor. SOA changes the game in this space by allowing processes to be represented as services and components. As such, the service-based process now becomes re-usable, flexible, and can be modified and re-deployed more quickly. SOA turns processes into parts (called "services") so the specific part of the process can be improved, optimized, and then reassembled with other parts of the process.
Or for collaboration, SOA will enable this user experience and ensure consistent levels of service are met each step of the way. SOA allows customers to create, deploy, and update composite applications faster with SOA portlets. As application portlets are created or converted to "service-based" portlets, you can aggregate and integrate these portlets faster and more economically to get the collaborative user interface and view into your business that you need.
Or for Information, SOA drives further success Information delivered as a service provides extensive options to a company to allow for packaging, transformation, and distribution of the information to the right people at the right time. Information as a service, as a part of an SOA ensures consistency in sources and data rules, aligns information with business processes, provides business context to information, uncovers insightful relationships hidden within information, provides a basis for trust in information, and enables tighter control over information.
For the IT entry points, the 2 are Reuse, where a strong view of being able to reuse both IT assets and business logic. To build an SOA, you look at what you already have (people, applications, business processes, etc.), and use existing resources to streamline business processes, cut development time, ensure consistency through the organization, and save money. Based on open standards, IBM's offerings were created to allow a company to extend the value from their existing software by service-enabling it and then reuse the business value that comes from that service again and again. Firms can:
-Enhance flexibility by reduce duplication of function by creating services to be shared across the enterprise -Leverage proven core applications and function through services enablement, through wrappering or other methods
In fact, a study by Software Productivity Research found that it is five times less expensive to reuse existing services and applications than to re-write them.
And finally Connectivity. SOA connectivity allows users to take an existing business process and deliver it through a different business channel with minimal rework. So for example, if you have a business process like opening a new account that you deliver through a call center, you can deliver the same process through a web site or a kiosk by leveraging this kind of connectivity. Doing so will ensure a secure, consistent user experience and save a great deal of cost. By the same token, SOA Connectivity lets you reach out to your trading partners with secure, services-based connectivity beyond your firewall. The Enterprise Integration Challenge report from Software Strategies found that use of an Enterprise Service Buses was two to four times less expensive than custom-built integration or FTP.
So tell me what you think? Do these entry points seem like ones you could use?
We have an SOA business value tool that will allow you to sit down and determine your ROI from these Entry points as well. Let me hear from you![Read More]
Good day to all! Well, this southern girl broke her ankle about 2 weeks ago! Since there can be no "weight bearing on that leg now" for a while, I started thinking about where we put our weight in our first SOA implementations! From our recent survey, most companies are viewing BPM capablilities are the highest rating SOA capability. BPM being Business Process management. BPM is how you design, automate, and manage operational business processes at the pace required by changing market conditions and business priorities, aligned with strategic and operational goals. The value comes in around your ability to adapt quickly and cost effectively. By deploying the right BPM tooling, infrastructure, and methods, you will be able to respond at the speed of business while maintaining business controls and, where necessary, regulatory compliance. BPM improves your bottom line and enables innovation, helping you to compete effectively and win. Gartner recently gave a Market Opportunity number of $806M in 2006. Business Process Management Suites will be the Next Big Thing, February 2005, Jim Sinur
I am curious how many of our SOA folks are leveraging this capability of BPM and what processes are top of your list?
Til next time!