Agile Enterprise Architecture is not an Oxymoron!
Of all the feedback we received from our recent TOGAF and SOA guest ZapFlash, perhaps the most intriguing was a comment that TOGAF and the Agile Manifesto were at odds. It’s true that ZapThink has long included Agile best practices in our discussion of SOA, meaning “Agile” with a capital “A,” referring to the Agile Manifesto, so perhaps TOGAF and SOA weren’t as compatible as we were suggesting? We are less versed in the details of TOGAF, however, so it made sense to take a closer look at Enterprise Architecture frameworks like TOGAF to see first, whether they are at odds with Agile approaches, and second, what is the right combination of Agile, TOGAF and SOA best practices for organizations to follow. What we found is that there is a lesson here for Enterprise Architecture (EA) as a whole. As I’ll be discussing in my upcoming presentation…

Read More

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…

Read More

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

Does Cloud Computing Hold Water?
One of ZapThink’s favorite roles is that of iconoclast. When we see a growing hype bubble, we love being the ones to pop it. We relished dispelling the confusion over the SOA is dead meme, and now it’s time to let a little air out of the latest gas bag: Cloud Computing. Don’t get us wrong — we see a great future to Cloud Computing, but that doesn’t mitigate the fact that the hype around this trend is getting way too far ahead of the reality. People can’t even agree on what Cloud Computing is, and vendors are already rolling out products, conferences are ramping up, and pundits are working themselves into a frenzy. It’s time for a refreshing contrarian view, taking a critical look at why Cloud Computing will likely fail, or at the very least, why we’re nowhere near ready for it. Déjà Vu All Over…

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

2009 New Year’s Resolution: Rethink your Training Strategy
As we wrap up Thanksgiving Day (in the United States) and head into the greater part of the winter holiday season, our thoughts inevitably turn to an evaluation of the year gone by and goals for improvement in the year ahead. Some of us may even promise to exercise more, eat more healthfully, and take care of our personal lives better, and we may indeed keep those promises. But at ZapThink we would like you to commit to a New Year’s resolution we know you can keep: improve your Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) skills by rethinking your SOA training strategy. ZapThink is fond of saying that “SOA is something you do, not something you buy.” Yet many so-called architects short-cut the step of actually doing architecture by hoping to buy their way to SOA. By now, we don’t have to tell you that you won’t get SOA by…

Read More

ZapThink Announces Major Update to Popular SOA Implementation Roadmap Poster
ZapThink, the industry’s foremost experts, advisers, and educators in the field of Service-Oriented Architecture, is responding to customer demand with today’s publication of the third version of its popular “ZapThink SOA Implementation Roadmap” poster. The company distributed over 100,000 copies of its first two versions of the poster, the first in 2003 and then updated in 2005. The latest version adds cutting-edge thought leadership in SOA, includes detail on architectural artifacts, and expands coverage of SOA Quality, Enterprise Mashups, and more.   Read more at: Emediawire…

Read More

The Business Analyst vs. the Enterprise Architect
As adoption of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) spreads in the enterprise, one of the most notable trends in the market, other than introduction of new products and services, are changes to the organizational structure of businesses that are successful with SOA. In addition to the growth of Centers of Excellence (CoE) and competency centers focused on SOA, we’re also seeing a greater focus on enterprise architecture (EA) groups that lead and guide SOA initiatives across the organization. However, EA groups are not alone in trying to help meet the wide range of needs of the business with IT solutions. Indeed, before the discipline of EA got the visibility it has now, another part of the organization held sway with the business — business analysts. Business analysts serve an important role in the organization, helping to marry the needs of the business with the various capabilities and resources available to it.

Read More

The Problem with IT Project Management
One of the most challenging aspects of Enterprise Architecture (EA), and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) in particular, is that rather than address a discrete problem or set of problems in the enterprise, it attempts to address a range of interconnected and perplexing issues that have long troubled IT. Specifically, SOA approaches to EA address long-term issues of integration in environments of continued heterogeneity, application development in the face of continuous change, governance, management, and quality in environments of continuous complexity, increasing reuse and reducing redundancy across multiple IT initiatives, and organizational and methodology approaches that favor iteration over monolithic, waterfall-style approaches to development. While none of these challenges are new, and in fact, many architects have a number of tools, techniques, and approaches at their disposal to address those issues, EA attempts to address them in a holistic manner, providing a consistent approach to use in the face of continued…

Read More