Smart SOA in Any Economic Climate
Is your business flexible enough to adjust quickly to changes in customer needs and/or economic climates? Can you ramp up quickly to increasing demand? Can you control costs and deliver critical services during economic downturns? Companies that are agile, control costs, and deliver value have proven to have more economic flexibility. Utilizing a Smart SOA approach can help enterprises achieve these attributes that have been shown to help companies in any economic climate. Learn how SOA can help you build an IT environment that can adjust to any economic environment. 18 slide PowerPoint in pdf format.[hide -2]Download File[/hide][hide +1]Subscribe Today to Get Access![/hide]…

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Service Independence, the Document Style, and Building for Change
One of the most challenging slides in our entire four-day Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) course is the one where we explain the benefits of document style Service interactions over the contrasting remote procedure call (RPC) style. On first glance, this difference in styles between Services (Web Services in particular) appears to be a technical detail, but in fact, the difference underscores the fundamental architectural principles of Service independence and building for change. Building for change, furthermore, is the core theme of the LZA course overall, since business agility is the core business motivator for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), and business agility means building for change and leveraging change for competitive advantage. Therefore, understanding the true implications of the document style and its relationships both to Service independence as well as building for change goes to the heart of what it means to do SOA properly. The Document Style…

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SOA 101
Updated introduction to SOA for an insurance industry client. Covers SOA basics, SOA vs. Web Services, SOA views, SOA challenges, and a case study. 58 slide PowerPoint in pdf format.[hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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ZapThink’s Practical SOA New York/New Jersey Event Focuses on Best Practices, Case Studies from Finance, Insurance, Pharma, and Media Industries
(PRLEAP.COM) BALTIMORE, MD, February 27, 2008 – ZapThink announces today its upcoming Practical Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) New York / New Jersey conference in Newark, NJ featuring speakers, best practices, case studies, and lessons learned on the finance, pharmaceuticals, health care, insurance, and media industries in Newark, New Jersey on March 25, 2008. The Practical SOA event series is targeted at companies and individuals looking for practical business case studies and value propositions for SOA, those who want to learn the latest best practices for making SOA a success, those looking to hear from successful architects about their SOA efforts, want to learn from peers about what it takes to put together a successful SOA, and/or want to take their SOA efforts to the next level. “Companies are tired of all the hype surrounding Web Services and SOA, and are finding it difficult to learn what they really need to know…

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Forget Maturity Models — It's Time for an Agility Model
Companies need to know where they stand. The desire to measure progress is especially the case with regards to IT — something that many business people regard as intangible, unpredictable, and unreliable. One way of reining in all this uncertainty is to apply industry-wide metrics and measures to enterprise IT projects. Using these measures, companies can ideally determine if they are ahead of their competition and generally moving in the right direction with regard to their IT projects. Many companies look to certain industry-wide maturity models to fill this need. However, this is exactly where most maturity models fall flat. Too often, companies flock to maturity models, such as the widely-famous (and too-often mimicked) Capability Maturity Model Integration (CMMI), without adequately understanding what they are meant to measure. Now, the point of this ZapFlash is not to explain CMMI or equate CMMI and SOA Maturity Models… they have nothing to…

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SOA as a Corporate Responsibility
In these days of corporate responsibility and compliance, we need to consider the efficiencies of our IT infrastructure along with other corporate assets. For most companies, enterprise architectures are the single most limiting factor to their business economics since they don’t have the ability to adapt to business changes in a timely manner. While many in IT have accepted this as one of life’s realities, we could be entering an era where such a reality is unacceptable. Indeed, as innovative corporations learn how to leverage concepts such as SOA to liberate their IT from its currently static and fragile form, less innovative companies will find themselves quickly losing market share to competitors that have embraced the agility value of SOA. Moreover, the companies who choose to maintain inefficient architectural forms will find that their business value, reflected in their stock price, have suffered as well, perhaps even becoming targets…

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ZapThink Acquires SOA Leader Linthicum Group, LLC
BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ZapThink, LLC, the industry’s foremost advisory firm focused on Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) today announces the acquisition of The Linthicum Group, LLC, a well-respected SOA consulting firm, and the addition of David S. Linthicum to ZapThink. ZapThink will expand its intellectual property and team with expertise and resources from the acquisition to provide ZapThink customers with expert SOA advisory, research, and guidance. The announcement was made during Linthicum’s keynote address to the e-Gov Institute’s 7th Enterprise Architecture Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC. “Dave brings significant market visibility, thought leadership, a deep understanding of enterprise architecture, and proven approaches and methodologies for SOA adoption,” says Ronald Schmelzer, Managing Partner at ZapThink. “We see the addition of David and the Linthicum Group team as strategic to the ZapThink offerings, providing us with the ability to better service our expanding combined client base.” In addition to the Linthicum Group’s well-respected…

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ZapThink and Web Age Solutions Partner to Offer World-class SOA Training
BALTIMORE, MD — May 9, 2007 — In response to the significant skills gap for Service Oriented Architecture (SOA), ZapThink and Web Age Solutions, today announce a partnership today to deliver world-class SOA training and knowledge transfer to large enterprises. ZapThink, the industry’s foremost experts and advisers in the field of SOA, joins with Web Age Solutions, a premier provider of SOA education and mentoring to offer training solutions aimed at key SOA roles including business analysts, managers, and architects. The companies also plan to develop a cross-functional hands-on SOA workshop, and Web Age Solutions will also serve as a Certified Licensed ZapThink Trainer for Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) Boot Camps and SOA credentialing. “We’re aiming to transfer SOA knowledge and expertise to enterprises as early in their SOA adoption process as possible,” states Greg Wagner, Web Age’s VP of US Operations. “With targeted workshops and role-based training, we are…

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BPM the SOA Way
Successful businesses are built on great products or services, operational efficiency, excellence in satisfying customers, well-honed sales and marketing efforts, and leveraging relationships with suppliers and partners. To respond to changing market forces that impact these efforts, companies don’t necessarily change the product or service itself, but rather the process they use to serve their customers. However, building an agile infrastructure that supports process needs from beginning to end and top to bottom while allowing for frequent and ad hoc changes presents many challenges to the business. Enterprise applications typically provide only a siloed approach to business process management (BPM) and are inflexible in the face of process change. To achieve true business agility, organizations must separate the processes from the underlying applications using an architectural approach that abstracts the application functionality as Services so that the business can compose those Services into composite applications in a flexible manner.

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Pitfalls of SOA RFPs
In spite of many vendors’ sales pitches, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is something you do, not something you buy. As ZapThink has been saying for years, SOA consists of best practices, plus the discipline to follow them. Expecting to get architecture by buying software is about as likely as learning to play Mozart by buying a piano. Be that as it may, however, many organizations are struggling today with their SOA initiatives, and as a result, are looking for outside help to move them along their SOA roadmaps. Some enterprises are turning to vendors for help, others are turning to consulting firms, and many find the best SOA assistance comes from those providers who offer a combination of products and professional services. Regardless of which kind of firm you look to for help with your SOA initiatives, though, at some point you must select that firm — and that…

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