Sandy Carter: Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) -- Off the Record
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Well, I am very excited as we just went live with Project Zero, an incubation initiative focused on helping to simplify the development of next generation web applications. This project is unique in that it is being developed openly on the public website -- utilizing feedback from the internet community -- under the technical leadership of Jerry Cuomo and Jason McGee. (Great techies if you haven't met them -- they have blogs too!!)
The website will offer a radically simplified scripting runtime with application programming interfaces. The site also features forums to encourage developers to give feedback and join a community interested in taking advantage of this new technology.
Since this is a view of how SOA and Web 2.0 work together, I'd love you guys to check it out! Let me know what you think!
It’s free – visit Project Zero
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.
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Zapthink has referenced a TechTarget survey completed in February by SearchSOA.com and TheServerSide.com. Topics are SOA, BPM, and Cloud. Respondents (376, total) comprised a mix of developers, architects, C-level execs, managers, consultants and others. Potentially useful statistics for use in spring plan / marketing plans. Text below.
* SOA is in fact motoring forward. Among the survey respondents, 49% said their organization has one or more SOA projects under way, and 60% characterize their current or future SOA projects as enterprise level as opposed to departmental/divisional level (21%), or single, isolated projects (19%).
* Interest and uptick in Business Process Management with 29.7% of respondents marking BPM as one of the critical areas for their organization's technology efforts. At the same time, 35.8% respondents counted Business Process Management software among the types of infrastructure software currently used, with 38% planning to use it in the future.
* Grid/cloud software is now used by 17% of respondents, with 38% planning to use grid/cloud in the future.
*Today's SOA projects are largely about integration. The top benefits organizations hope to achieve are improved data integration (32%), enable legacy application integration (32%) and integrated disparate department applications (23%), followed by cost cutting (21%). Staying competitive (8.4%) and driving innovation (8%) tracked low on the expected benefits list.
*Those not doing SOA said it was because of skills.
* Governance is becoming more and more popular as an issue.
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IBM is the SOA Market Leader and Vendor of choice for SOA Deployments! (Based on results from Springboard Research conducted in Asia Pacific)
A recently published report from Springboard Research. IBM and other SOA vendors were interviewed. Assessments were made on 261 CIOs and IT decision-makers' level of awareness, familiarity and a range of issues related to SOA deployment. Countries involved in the study were Australia, China, India and Singapore. Springboard has been kept up to date re our SOA solutions and strategy through various briefing sessions and through the recently concluded Analyst Insights event in New Delhi, India.
IBM is a clear leader in the Asia Pacific SOA market; among the 113 SOA users interviewed in the region, 47% said they have deployed a solution from IBM while 41% of these said they consider IBM as the market leader. IBM is a favourite with respondents planning to deploy SOA also as 49% of the 128 respondents interviewed by Springboard Research considered it best suited to help them migrate to SOA..."
* Vendors Best Suited for SOA Deployment IBM ranked highest at 49% * Leading SOA Vendors in Asia Pacific - IBM leads with 47% * Perceived SOA Leaders in Asia Pacific - IBM leads with 41%[Read More]
I am here in a great hotel in London ...! Today we had the SOA Business Centric Summit in London at another cool place... with over 400 customers!
The SOA summit was a great way to hear from the London customers doing SOA, like City University, Standard Life (Ian writes that "Our measured re-use benefit now stands at 8.5 miillion sterling (16 million US) Feel free to quote us. Well over 100 applications from large to small deployed to our SOA now and many more planned", Norwich Union, and Travelex!
Check out John Patrick's Blog on the SOA AR day as well!
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!!!!
Many thanks for the notes and pings on our SOA for Dummies -- the IBM edition! If you want a copy, please send me your address in a note to firstname.lastname@example.org!!
Thanks for the great response!!![Read More]
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OK Gang! One of our big announcements this 2H SOA Launch is Process Integrity. End to end process integration is required to hold your services, information and users together. This integration must be robust and scalable – otherwise it will restrict you from growing your SOA and building on your initial successes. As you move from basic to advanced SOA, you should be able to use the same products and architectures in an expanded and more advanced way.
So the architecture must start with the ability to provide Process Integrity, even if you don’t use all the capabilities in every project. Robust capabilities must be part of the middleware layer. For example, let’s look at the Enterprise Service Bus. There are several types of ESBs, depending on what they are being used for. An in fact, it’s very possible that you might have different ESBs running in different domains. But whatever ESBs you are running, they must be able to grow with you and provide scalable connectivity as your SOA becomes more advanced. This also means that you might federate multiple ESBs, so that various ESBs are integrated into a larger architecture.
Security and quality of service are key to a successful SOA environment. Even if you don’t need the full set of capabilities in your first couple of projects, you need to ensure that your SOA environment is capable of growing with you. As SOA matures, it will very likely be the basis of a large percentage of IT projects in the future. It’s hard to think of large IT projects that don’t focus on security, scalability, availability and performance. Don’t think of your initial project as something that will be thrown away in the future. Think of them as laying the groundwork for your long-term architecture.
Want to know more about this one?
Watch the process integrity video now.[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]
It was great to see so many of you at last week's IMPACT conference. I really enjoyed the chance to meet with you and get your feedback.
We want to continue the dialogue we started with you at IMPACT throughout 2008 via virtual events & the SOA Social Network.
Our next virtual event is our April 30th webcast, IBM's Smart SOA™ Approach: Aligning Business & IT for Maximum Impact
This is a a great follow-on to IMPACT. The webcast gives you the opportunity to hear IBM Executives
explain new IBM SOA Announcements. We'll also offer a LIVE Q & A session as part of the program.
Steven A. Mills, Senior Vice President & Group Executive, IBM Software Group
All registrants who attend this live Web Seminar will receive complimentary access to the "IBM SOA Case Studies e-Book".
My top 5 highlights from IMPACT!!!
1) 104 customer speakers showcasing their SOA success was a highlight of the inaugural IBM SOA and WebSphere event which attracted 4.264 attendees. Having this many customers tell their Stories was amazing! It generated widespread interest and enthusiasm for SOA!
2) The client value of the New SOA announcements at IMPACT 2007! Dozens of new offerings were built upon the three major SOA launches executed over the past 18 months and centered on the Business, Technical and Personal Impact of SOA. Noteworthy new offerings include: Eight SOA Industry Roadmaps representing six industries (banking, healthcare, telecom, retail, insurance and industrial); six new integrated SOA professional services; BPM enabled by SOA; new support for System z and p; Innov8, a BPM Simulator; and expanded SOA education.
3) 250+ Press articles (35 business press), 100 postiive blog entries and 8 analyst reports showcase the energy momentum of the event and SOA announcements. We announced 4,500 IBM customers have used IBM SOA offerings. This amount of energy was amazing. My favorite quotes were:"SOA is the bridge between IT and business that IBM has been pioneering. And, as far as I can tell it must be hot, hot, hot! The event had the flavor of a kind of corporate Woodstock because…one got the feeling that something about this gathering was going to have a big effect on the wider culture."-- Crossing Digital Divides - Virtual Realities in World 2.
with TechTarget reporting, “SOA is now infused throughout IBM's software platform. Its WebSphere, Tivoli and Rational lines literally ooze SOA from every pore. Behind the software, IBM has an army of Global Services consultants.”
4) The interest in the Skills area. With 56% of companies seeing skills as a big inhibitor, it was incredible that over 500 clients took the SOA certification test and the interst in new forms of education like the Innov8 simulator for BPM!See the latest story on this one!!A screen shot of the game is posted on BusinessWeek's Technology section: BusinessWeek
5) Showcased the strength of the IBM SOA ecosystem. A total of 542 Business Partners attended IMPACT, including 250 attendees at Business Partner day.
This event demonstrated cross-IBM alignment and industry leadership for extreme Client Value! Business Leaders, IT Executive, Technical and Virtual IT-Business tracks highlighted the breadth of IBM offerings in SOA and WebSphere. The Business leader track included 300 business leader attendees, and there were 2100 attendees at 20 industry sessions.
Let me know how you found the conference!!
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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!!!
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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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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]