Process Isomorphism: The Critical Link between SOA and BPM
ZapThink has long championed the close relationship between Business Process Management (BPM) projects and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) initiatives. As anyone who has been through our Licensed ZapThink Architect Bootcamp can attest, we have a process-centric view of SOA, where the point to building loosely coupled Business Services is to support metadata-driven compositions that implement business processes, what we call Service-Oriented Business Applications, or SOBAs, for want of a better term. Nevertheless, there is still confusion on this point, among enterprise practitioners who see BPM as a business effort and SOA as technology-centric, among vendors who see them as separate products in separate markets, and even among pundits who see Services as supporting business functions but not business processes. On the other hand, there are plenty of Enterprise Architects who do see the connection between these two initiatives, and who have pulled them together into “BPM enabled…

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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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SOA Strategy Comparison: IBM & Microsoft
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is a set of best practices for organizing enterprise IT resources to support dynamic, flexible business processes. As an architectural approach, SOA is inherently platform, technology, and protocol neutral, so how well leading platform vendors are able to tell an accurate SOA story, while nevertheless seeking to promote their own platforms, is an interesting question. It’s important to emphasize that it’s reasonable for any vendor to seek to explain how their offerings support their customers’ architecture efforts. SOA, however, sets the bar particularly high, as a core aspect of SOA is organizing heterogeneous resources to better support agile process requirements. It is important, therefore, to contrast how well platform vendors, and in particular Microsoft and IBM, position their offerings to support their customers’ efforts to deal with their inherent heterogeneity, without requiring them to solve heterogeneity problems by moving to a single vendor platform.[hide -1]…

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Batch Processing with SOA
Although typically thought of as an artifact of legacy computing, batch processes remain vital to today’s real-time enterprises. Behind the real time systems that power the real time enterprise, such as customer order fulfillment, account management, supply chain scheduling and optimization, or financial trading systems, are regularly-updated back office business systems. Today, batch processes remain essential for one key reason: it is simply not efficient to regenerate a complete forecast or business plan every time the business processes a single event such as an incoming customer order. Real time enterprises do require systems that can support dynamic processes; however, it is best to reserve that capacity for aspects of data or processes for the most volatile high-velocity markets. Nonetheless, while the need for batch processes hasn’t changed, the nature of batch processing today has certainly evolved. For instance, while scheduled batch processes remain relevant for time-related processes such as…

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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…

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Balancing Repeatability and Situationality with Process Mashups
At the center of the perfect storm of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), Web-Oriented Architecture (WOA), and the business-centric take on Web 2.0 we call Enterprise 2.0 is the notion of the enterprise mashup. Loosely defined as governed, managed compositions of Services in the context of a rich, Internet-based user interface environment, enterprise mashups have become a key driver for SOA initiatives, even though such applications as yet have relatively limited use in the enterprise. In fact, mashups’ greatest strength is precisely what limits their applicability: using a mashup includes creating the mashup. In other words, putting mashup capabilities into the hands of a business user means empowering that user to create the application as they use it. Sounds good, but how often does IT really want users of applications to be responsible for creating and modifying those applications as well? Falling into this “to use it is…

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Service Semiotics and the SOA Illusion
Quick! What does a Service look like? Is it an icon on the screen or some collection of XML? Or maybe the concept of Service is too abstract to have a visual representation at all? This question may sound superficial, but in fact, goes to the heart of how Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) interrelates with related concepts like Web-Oriented Architecture (WOA), Business Process Management (BPM) Enterprise 2.0, as well as the fundamental question of how SOA provides value to the business. In fact, visual representations of Services, as well as the composition and consumption of those Services, are becoming the key to many SOA success stories. Without a visual component you can show business users, SOA becomes abstruse; furthermore, as organizations leverage Web 2.0 principles to build mashups, the visualization aspect of the Web 2.0 value proposition becomes a driving force for SOA. Understanding how Services look, therefore, is a…

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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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