Can Agile Really Work in Heavily Regulated IT Environments?
For the past several decades, Waterfall has been the leading software development methodology in heavily regulated IT environments. However, Waterfall’s popularity has declined in recent years as heavily regulated industries have increased acceptance of Agile software development practices. For example, the Federal government has released a number of recent publications and policy initiatives encouraging the use of Agile development practices and is establishing a new contract vehicle for Agile delivery services 1. The gradual emergence of Agile methodologies is encouraging for IT service providers looking for opportunities to leverage iterative development and delivery strategies to propel heavily regulated IT industries to the next level of efficiency. Waterfall vs. Agile There are a number of reasons that the government and other heavily regulated industries, such as health care, life sciences, energy and utilities, are shifting to Agile software development practices, but the major reason is likely the very low success…

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Are Services Nouns or Verbs?
ZapThink revels in stirring up controversy almost as much as we enjoy clarifying subtle concepts that give architects that rare “aha!” moment as they finally discern the solution to a particularly knotty design problem. Last month’s Process Isomorphism ZapFlash, therefore, gave us a particular thrill, because we received kudos from enterprise architects for streamlining the connections between Business Process Management (BPM) and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), while at the same time, several industry pundits demurred, disagreeing with our premise that Services should correspond one-to-one with tasks or subtasks in a process. Maybe we got it wrong, and inadvertently mislead our following of architects? Or perhaps the pundits were off base, and somehow ZapThink saw clearly a best practice that remained obscure to other experts in the field? Upon further consideration, the true answer lies somewhere in between these extremes. Now, we’re not reconsidering the conclusions of the Process Isomorphism ZapFlash.

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Is Your SOA Hammer Looking for a Nail?
It sounds so obvious when you get right down to it: you need to know what problem you’re solving before you can solve it. Common sense tells you to start with the problem before you can find the solution to the problem. If you start with a solution without knowing what the problem is, then there’s no telling if the solution you have will be the right one for the problems you’re facing. Obvious, yes, but it never ceases to amaze us at ZapThink that when it comes to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) projects, time and again we run into technology teams who don’t have a grasp as to what business problems they’re looking to solve. Now, it might be tempting to dismiss this disconnect to “techies being techies” or some other superficial explanation, but the problem is so pervasive and so common that there must be more to it.

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Lightweight SOA in a Down Economy
During economic downturns companies are pushed to reduce costs and increase agility. SOA is a concrete proposition to overcome these challenges. However, the high-cost high-risk SOA projects era is approaching to an end. Join us in this webinar to understand how a lightweight SOA may help you to succeed reducing cost and increasing agility at your company. In this Webinar, ZapThink discussed the following topics: IT Decision Making During a Down Economy Focus on Iterative, Process-Driven SOA Efforts Recover Costs with SOA SOA on a Super-tight Budget Lightweight SOA Governance 14-slide PowerPoint presentation in pdf format.[hide -2]Download File[/hide][hide +1]Subscribe Today to Get Access![/hide]…

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SOA Zombies Gather At ZapForum Boston: Night Of The Living SOA Dead Event
SOA Zombies Gather at ZapForum Boston: Night of the Living SOA Dead Event ZapThink Evening Networking Event in Boston, MA – July 23, 2009   BALTIMORE, MD June 15, 2009 — On July 23, 2009 dozens of experts, pundits, and influential guests will gather in Boston, MA for an evening of networking and discussion on the topics of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and Enterprise Architecture (EA). Open to public enrollment and attendance, the topic of discussion for the panel will be the recent news and discussion about the “Death of SOA.” Is SOA really dead? Is it dying? Or is it changing? And what about those that are currently doing something with SOA or even just interested in the topic? Are we the “living dead”?   As a way of encouraging dialogue, networking, and communication within the SOA and EA, ZapThink is hosts its evening ZapForum networking events throughout the…

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ZapThink Announces Release of Online, Computer-Based SOA Training
Baltimore, MD (PRunderground) May 21, 2009 — ZapThink today announces the availability of its online, computer-based Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) training and credentialing course. In this first-of-its-kind offering, attendees can get access to over 20 hours of self-paced video instruction and slides, online testing and evaluation, and opportunity to submit architectural exercises to ZapThink master architects for grading and assessment. Upon completion of the online course, attendees will receive the same LZA Credential that they would receive if they attended one of ZapThinks popular in-person training events. “Companies and individuals are looking for vendor-neutral, practical, in-depth training that is affordable and has minimal impact on their resources,” said Ronald Schmelzer, Managing Partner with ZapThink, LLC. “ZapThinkís new online, CBT courseware fits the bill. Individuals can sign up and get the same in-depth, hands-on SOA training that they’ve come to expect from ZapThink, but at their own…

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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…

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Homework Module 5 (3 files)
File 1 outlines a SOA design infrastructure for the ZAPCO HR SOA implementation File 2 outlines a SOA run time infrastructure for the ZAPCO HR SOA implementation File 3 outlines how the SOA management and working groups handle agile paradigm of continuous change This approach is a collection of best practices of the development in modern technology world. It could be applied in SOA and non-SOA systems [hide 2] Slide1.jpg (53 KB) Slide2.jpg (65 KB) Slide3.jpg (59 KB) [/hide]…

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Frameworks and Methodologies and Styles, Oh My!
The management team here at ZapThink likes to joke that we get along together better than most married couples, but that doesn’t mean we don’t have the occasional argument. A recent spat centered on the question as to whether the Department of Defense Architecture Framework (DoDAF) was relevant to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). One perspective was that as an Enterprise Architecture (EA) framework, DoDAF was at a higher level than SOA, and didn’t have any SOA-specific content; another perspective was that the US Department of Defense (DoD) strongly supports DoDAF and SOA, and thus interested parties both within the DoD as well as at defense contractors would be quite interested in learning how architects might apply DoDAF to SOA. The moral of this story, of course, is that both perspectives are correct, and as a result, ZapThink recruited a…

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The Rumors of SOA's Demise…
OK, everyone, calm down. SOA isn’t dead, in fact, it isn’t even sick. Thousands of organizations are showing real success with SOA around the world, and more are ramping up their SOA efforts every day. Even in today’s economy, plenty of smart organizations realize the cost savings and agility benefits of SOA warrant continued investment in the approach, even in times of tightening belts. So, why the consternation? Well, if you haven’t been paying attention to the SOA blogosphere for the last few weeks, you missed the firestorm that Anne Thomas Manes from the Burton Group caused with her “SOA is Dead” blog post. In the intervening time, virtually every SOA pundit has pitched in on this topic. However, due to the biweekly nature of our ZapFlash newsletter, ZapThink is in the enviable position of batting cleanup on this issue.

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