ZapThink Announces SOA for Managers Certification Course at IMPACT 2009
BALTIMORE, MD (PRunderground) March 26, 2009 — ZapThink announces today the availability of its SOA for Managers course co-located at IBM’s IMPACT 2009 conference in Las Vegas, NV on May 3, 2009. In this one-day course, attendees will get detailed guidance and expertise in how to implement and manage SOA with the latest best practices and methods. The one day event will feature Jason Bloomberg and Ronald Schmelzer, Managing Partners with ZapThink as lecturers and contributors. “Companies want to know how apply SOA best practices to enhance and optimize their existing investments in IT,” said Ronald Schmelzer, Managing Partner with ZapThink. “This one-day, practical event will give enterprises of all sizes, architecture practitioners, consulting firms, and technology vendors the best practices and practical implementation knowledge they are seeking.” Key topics addressed during the one-day event on May 3, 2009 in Las Vegas, NV include: Fundamentals of SOA Defining SOA Success…

Read More

Resilience: The Missing Word in the SOA Conversation
In our conversations about the value of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), we frequently discuss the need for agility. The constant problem plaguing IT is its inability to deal with continuous and often unpredictable change. Therefore, it makes sense that any Enterprise Architecture (EA) initiative should focus on resolving that problem by designing for change — agility. However, we also discussed in a prior ZapFlash that it’s difficult to design for agility by focusing on individual Services. Rather, agility is an emergent property of the complex system that is IT. So, if developers, integration architects, and infrastructure implementers can’t guarantee agility at their individual, atomic level of operation, what can they guarantee? One of the concepts that contributes to the emergence of agility in complex systems, but is often missing from our SOA conversations is the notion of resilience. What is resilience? Resilience is the property of an…

Read More

Goodbye 2008… Here we Come, 2009!
It’s hard to believe that another year has come and gone, but with so much happening in 2008: global recession and economic stress, presidential elections, warfare and terrorism, natural disasters, and other happenings both good and bad, perhaps it’s good to shut the door quickly on this year and open up a new, more hopeful one. After all, it is at times of strife that sometimes the greatest successes emerge. And this is what we are hoping for in 2009: not just for the world at large, but for companies that adopt and implement the tenets of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). In this ZapFlash, as is our usual practice, we’ll take a look at some of the predictions we made for this year and see how they panned out, and make some new ones. We’ll scold ourselves for predictions that missed the mark, and of course, give ourselves kudos for the…

Read More

Business Agility as an Emergent Property of SOA
As students go through our Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) course, they experience a series of “aha” moments, as we systematically tear down their preconceptions about what Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is — and what it is not. But perhaps the biggest aha moment of all, however, is when they realize that implementing SOA isn’t traditional systems engineering (TSE) at all, but rather a fundamentally different approach to dealing with complexity in the IT environment. Needless to say, this realization is an especially big wakeup call for people with TSE backgrounds! The fundamental shift in thinking is this: TSE focuses on building big systems out of small components, where the behavior of the resulting system depends directly on the properties of the components. Essentially, TSE boils down to a “connecting things” way of thinking about distributed computing, where integration is the central activity, and what you end up with when…

Read More

Best Effort SOA and the SOA Quality Star
In one of ZapThink’s recent Licensed ZapThink Architect courses for a US Department of Defense (DoD) contractor, we were discussing Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Quality. I pointed out that as a SOA implementation matures, it becomes increasingly important to manage quality continuously over the full Service lifecycle, as the agility requirement for SOA reduces the practicality of focusing quality assurance solely on pre-deployment testing activities. The students then pointed out that the DoD requires that they put any new software implementation through six months of rigorous acceptance testing before deployment. Clearly, these two views of quality are at odds, and beg the question: which has to give? Can the DoD or any other organization implementing SOA have to sacrifice either agility or quality in order to obtain the other? Best Effort SOA Quality The answer is that no, such organizations don’t have to sacrifice quality to obtain agility, but…

Read More

SOA Performance
Many organizations look to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to provide greater business agility in the face of evolving business requirements and complex, heterogeneous information technology (IT) environments. To achieve this agility, architects implement a Services abstraction that loosely couples business Services from the underlying implementations of those Services. Building such an abstraction layer is not without risks, however–inherent in building such an abstraction is the risk of sacrificing performance and scalability to achieve the organization’s required agility. As SOA becomes mainstream, though, enterprises simply cannot afford to trade away performance to achieve agility. As a result, architects must plan for performance up front, as part of their SOA planning process, and leverage a variety of techniques and solutions to achieve performance and scalability as well as business agility as the traffic to their Services continues to increase.[hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

Read More

The Best SOA Pilots Don't Get the Services Right
When Thomas Edison was in quest of inventing the electric light bulb, he didn’t get it right the first time. In a well-documented exchange, Edison was told that he had failed 700 times in his attempts to make the breakthrough he sought. In response, he said, “I have not failed 700 times. I have not failed once! I have succeeded in proving that those 700 ways would not work!” What we can learn from the king of perseverance is that failing often and quickly is one of the best ways to increase the likelihood of success, and do so sooner. However most developers and architects, especially those building Services, want to minimize the number of times they spend rebuilding anything — and for good reason. Development is expensive. Architecture takes time. So, doing things over is rarely an option. Indeed, while we often hear the refrain, “I don’t have…

Read More

SOA Glossary
As a reference for our subscribers and advisory clients, ZapThink has assembled this glossary of terms related to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). ZapThink defines and uses these terms in its research, advisory practice, as well as in its Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) curriculum. This list is not meant to be fully comprehensive. Rather, these are terms represent key concepts that ZapThink has a particular take on. If a term does not appear on this list, ZapThink is happy to point clients to broadly available definition of the term. The terms included here fall into these categories: terminology related to Services, architecture, infrastructure, governance, and process.

Read More

SOA in Any Economic Climate
Change is a constant in the competitive environment. The agility and flexibility that Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) enables can help businesses weather the ongoing change that has become part of the routine of competition. These advantages are especially critical when contending with changing economic cycles. In today’s global economy, enterprises often contend with a mixed picture, serving different regions that are in varying phases of economic growth or slowdown. They must have the ability to flexibly adjust and calibrate go-to-market strategies, enhancing capacity or expanding products and services for regions in growth, while streamlining in areas whose economies are flattening or decelerating. SOA can enable businesses to meet several key challenges when navigating a changing economy. The loosely-coupled nature of SOA promotes business agility, a capability that helps businesses adapt to changes in economic cycles. SOA also helps place a lid on integration costs because of its inclusion of a…

Read More

SOA: Learning from the Mistakes Made by Insurance Companies
Like all businesses, insurance companies thrive on innovation in order to compete. However, innovation is becoming increasingly difficult given the existing environment of regulation, heterogeneity, and the sluggishness of IT to respond to continuously changing business needs. Companies adopted SOA to address these challenges. Learn SOA best practices and hear about some notable failures as well. Presentation for ACORD/LOMA Conference, May 15, 2008.[hide -2]Download File[/hide][hide +1]Subscribe Today to Get Access![/hide]…

Read More