Skyway Software: A Collaborative, Model-Driven Approach to Service Development
As companies look to migrate to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and adopt Service-oriented approaches in their organizations, the biggest challenge is often aligning, educating, and informing the IT teams on how to best make the transition. Too often, the business desires for Service Orientation outpace the capabilities of IT to deliver on the SOA vision. As such, companies often seek incremental approaches that get the organization closer to their SOA goals without requiring that they bite off too much at once. While an iterative approach does not necessarily guarantee that a company will realize all the benefits of SOA, such as loose coupling, composability of Services, Service reuse, and increased agility, taking a step-wise approach to SOA can significantly increase a company’s chances of realizing long-term SOA success. Skyway Software’s model-driven approach to Service development helps to transition firms that have well-developed, but entrenched experience in traditional software development…

Read More

ZapThink Acquires Linthicum Group / ZapFlash: Architecture-Driven Infrastructure
If you haven’t heard the news, ZapThink announced today that it has acquired the Linthicum Group and is making David Linthicum, a well-known, well-regarded, and well-liked adviser, a ZapThink Managing Partner. Find out more about this important and hopefully useful announcement here. Let’s imagine the following scenario: John is a married man with a large family. He has a job just outside the city that requires a half-hour commute. His wife has a job in the city that, with traffic factored in, requires a 45 minute commute. They have six kids ranging from one barely in kindergarten to a 14-year old just entering high school that will eventually be driving on his own as well. Add to the mix the collection of soccer games, grocery runs, family outings, and daily chores and you have a fairly complex set of requirements for driving in, around, and out of town.

Read More

The Service Granularity Matrix
Like most things relating to Enterprise Architecture, the answer to the question of how to design a Service in a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is “it depends”. One of the most frequent questions that we, and most enterprise architects, often address is how big a Service should be. This question is reminiscent of the issue many developers grappled with as they transitioned from procedural programming approaches, in which a single program encapsulated one application, to object-oriented forms of programming in which developers separated logical units of application functionality into objects that provide capabilities of encapsulation, inheritance, polymorphism, and the other wonders of object orientation.   Just like many budding developers, for me, learning the programming language required to build objects wasn’t the problem. Rather, my brain cramp came from wondering exactly what an object was. Is it just one big program wrapped up in an object? Is it just a bunch…

Read More

SOA Infrastructure Patterns and the Intermediary Approach
The SOA spin cycle is now churning at full speed, generating significant froth in the market with regards to tooling, consulting, and support for helping to make SOA a reality for most firms. Many end users find themselves lost in all this turbulence, bobbing from one vendor’s SOA marketing pitch to another, confused between different implementation and architectural approaches to making SOA work, leaving them dizzied, dazed, and confused. Recently, ZapThink highlighted (and bemoaned) the fact that too much of the conversation around SOA today was really a conversation about SOA infrastructure — focusing not on the architectural part of making SOA work, but rather on the plumbing of getting Services to communicate with each other. While it is true that companies should focus less on infrastructure and more on the so-called Governance-Quality-Management (GQM) aspects of SOA, it is of course also true that an architecture…

Read More

The Governance, Quality, Management Trifecta: Making Loose Coupling Work
With Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) well established in the common parlance of IT, companies are now grappling with the some of the most challenging issues in making SOA work. The companies that are well on the path to SOA adoption know full well that the technical challenges of building and exposing Services are less significant than the hurdles of building loosely coupled, business-relevant Services leveraged across their continuously changing business processes. Indeed, the challenge of making loose coupling a reality is only surpassed by the even-greater challenges associated with organizational and cultural adoption of SOA. While SOA abstracts the complexity associated with heterogeneous, point-to-point integration and tightly-coupled application logic, it introduces a different kind of complexity: the management of distributed, loosely coupled, and dynamically composable Services. Over the past few years companies developed a number of approaches for dealing with this new form of complexity: management solutions that isolate failure…

Read More

Transformation and Innovation: The Lowest Risk Path to SOA Adoption
This presentation was given at the Transformation and Innovation conference in Dulles, VA on May 23, 2007. The key items in this presentation include: ROI of SOA Fundamentals of SOA and how it compares to other approaches The economics of integration cost curve SOA and innovation The future of SOA [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

Read More

Finding the Real Barrier to SOA Adoption
There have been countless many articles focused on establishing a business case for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), developing a prospective Return on Investment (ROI), and proving to the business why SOA will provide short-term benefits, address pressing problems, and provide a long-lived answer to the persistent problems of IT’s ability to meet the changing needs of the business. However, with all this business goodness, you would think that SOA investment would go unimpeded. After all, if SOA can prove its value to the folks who hold the pocketbooks, then why aren’t we seeing unfettered SOA spending reminiscent of the dot.com-boom days when the promise of IT was as great as what SOA promises now? Part of the reason for SOA’s continued measured uptake is that SOA is all about architecture, and doing architecture well is really hard. Despite how some vendors may portray it, you can’t just buy a product…

Read More

Slides from Practical SOA for Government Event
Presentation materials from the ZapThink Practical SOA for Government Event. Materials include presentations from: Ronald Schmelzer — ZapThink, David Linthicum – Linthicum Group, David McFarlane – Nexaweb, and Jim Mackay – iTKO.[hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

Read More

Quantity is No Measure of Maturity
As companies pursue the benefits of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), it makes sense that organizations want to measure their progress against an objective benchmark. After all, since SOA represents changes in the way that IT meets the continuously changing requirements of the business as well as changes in the way that IT organizations are managed and governed, it makes sense that companies want to grasp something tangible and concrete to gauge their progress. This is where vendors, analysts, consulting firms, and marketers have all piled on with their measures of SOA maturity. As ZapThink wrote earlier in What To Look For in a Maturity Model, many of the existing SOA Maturity Models are self-serving, vendor-driven efforts that aim to mature a company’s purchase of products moreso than the evolution of their architectures. However, we also stated that some combination of the various efforts can yield some benefit in trying to…

Read More