The Human in the Machine
In the late 1700s, a clever inventor built a mechanical device he called The Mechanical Turk that could play a mean game of chess. It was so good, in fact, that people such as Benjamin Franklin and Napoleon Bonaparte traveled to play the machine, only to lose to it. The Turk was certainly a curiosity of the day, since there were no computers, no microprocessors, hard drives, or networks to speak of. So, how did this curious device work? It turned out that it was all an elaborate hoax, with a chess master hiding inside the machine operating an intricate set of springs and magnets to move the mannequin attached to the device. Playing chess at the grandmaster level, of course, is extraordinarily difficult, and it was only in the last decade that computers surpassed the best human players in ability. Ironically, computers are still unable to perform other,…

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The ZapThink Approach to SOA Implementation
What is the best approach to putting SOA in production? Is it necessary to dive into the deep end and take a “pay and pray” approach to SOA implementation or is there a more logical, lower risk path to realizing the vision of SOA? In this workshop, ZapThink will discuss the steps that companies should take to move from today’s brittle infrastructures to loosely-coupled, process-centric SOA implementations. The session begins with point-to-point Web Services implementations for integration, securing, managing, and adding process layers to these Services, implementing registries and management for loose coupling, moving to asynchronous invocations for greater reliability, and implementing a governance infrastructure for greater visibility and control. We’ll provide the big picture for SOA adoption as well as the details on how to actually go about implementing SOA in a logical progression of steps, each resulting in significant ROI. Course Outline: The integration problem The…

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Right-Sizing Services
We all know the tale of Goldilocks and the Three Bears: the story of an interloper that seemed to want her chair, porridge, and bed just so, despite her invasion of ursine privacy. Just as one-size-fits-all food or accommodations could not sate Goldilocks, so too are early proponents of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) realizing that they must size their Services just so in order to meet their pressing business problems so that they can maximize reuse and minimize unnecessary expense. Not only that, these early adopters are realizing that they must tackle significant aspects of Service infrastructure and architectural best practices from the very beginning, even if they are deploying a small set of Services. After all, a successful SOA implementation requires not only the right Services, but implementing them in the right way. One of ZapThink’s repeated refrains is that SOA is an aspect of enterprise architecture, which itself…

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The ZapThink Approach to Service-Oriented Architecture Implementation
What is the best approach to putting SOA in production? Is it necessary to dive into the deep end and take a “pay and pray” approach to SOA implementation or is there a more logical, lower risk path to realizing the vision of SOA? In this workshop, ZapThink will discuss the steps that companies should take to move from today’s brittle infrastructures to loosely-coupled, process-centric SOA implementations. The session begins with point-to-point Web Services implementations for integration, securing, managing, and adding process layers to these Services, implementing registries and management for loose coupling, moving to asynchronous invocations for greater reliability, and implementing a governance infrastructure for greater visibility and control. We’ll provide the big picture for SOA adoption as well as the details on how to actually go about implementing SOA in a logical progression of steps, each resulting in significant ROI. Course Outline: The integration problem The SOA implementation…

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The ZapThink Approach to SOA Implementation Drilldown
What is the best approach to putting SOA in production? Is it necessary to dive into the deep end and take a “pay and pray” approach to SOA implementation or is there a more logical, lower risk path to realizing the vision of SOA? In this workshop, ZapThink will discuss the steps that companies should take to move from today’s brittle infrastructures to loosely-coupled, process-centric SOA implementations. The session begins with point-to-point Web Services implementations for integration, securing, managing, and adding process layers to these Services, implementing registries and management for loose coupling, moving to asynchronous invocations for greater reliability, and implementing a governance infrastructure for greater visibility and control. We’ll provide the big picture for SOA adoption as well as the details on how to actually go about implementing SOA in a logical progression of steps, each resulting in significant ROI. Course Outline: The integration problem The SOA implementation…

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ZapThink’s Service-Oriented Architecture Roadmap
ZAPTHINK’S ROADMAP TO SOA ADOPTION Companies today are struggling with the best way to implement IT infrastructures that enable business agility. Service-oriented architectures based on Web Services provide cost-effective approaches to achieving companies’ agility goals. ZapThink’s Roadmap to SOA adoption is a one-of-a-kind, full-color 24×18″ poster that provides organizations of all sizes and types an at-a-glance view at how to approach implementing Service-oriented architectures in a way that provides return-on-investment (ROI) at each step along the path toward agile IT infrastructures. Included on this easy-to-read poster are the steps and phases by which companies can move from today’s brittle infrastructures to loosely-coupled, coarse-grained, asynchronous SOAs. The poster covers concepts in point-to-point Web Services implementations for integration, securing, managing, and adding process layers to these services, implementing registries and management for loose coupling, moving to asynchronous invocations for greater reliability, and concepts in virtualization, contract-first development, SOA governance,…

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What to Look For in a SOA Maturity Model
As companies move beyond the “what” and “why” of SOA to the “how,” they are looking for any tool or approach that will accelerate the adoption and lower the risk of their Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) implementations. In response to this need, several SOA Maturity Models have cropped up that aim to help companies find out how far they have progressed on the SOA journey. Since SOA itself is still a set of emerging best practices, the main challenge with these models is that they all have different angles on the issue of SOA maturity, in many cases adding to the confusion over SOA rather than clearing any of it up. In this ZapFlash, we aim to cut through the noise and confusion, not with our own SOA Maturity Model (there are probably enough already), but rather with advice on how to understand what the differences are among the various models,…

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Organizational Challenges in SOA Adoption
The Organizational Challenges in SOA Adoption presentation covers the following topics: Pulling together the enterprise architecture team Building the business case for SOA Budgeting for SOA initiatives Establishing a governance framework for SOA Navigating the SOA pilot Building cross-functional teams Dealing with resistance within IT Organizing Service domains OrganizationalChallenges-Swiss-102005-ZTP-0199-1…

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Why is SOA Taking So Long?
At a recent conference, ZapThink spoke with an enterprise architect who bemoaned the fact that his organization was ready to get started on their Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) initiatives back in 2003, but now it’s two years later, and they have made surprisingly little headway. Compounding his frustration is the pressure he is getting from his colleagues who want updates on his progress. Unfortunately, this architect is not alone. Many organizations are finding it more difficult than they had expected to put SOA into practice. At this point in the evolution of the market, organizations seem to understand what SOA is and why they should do it, but there’s still broad confusion about how to implement SOA in a way that guarantees business benefit and keeps the ball rolling. Some firms find that some combination of organizational, technological, or architectural issues bring their SOA initiatives to a standstill. Other companies lack…

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Seven Things Your SOA Team Shouldn’t Say
Our weather may be cooling down, but the SOA world is really heating up. ZapThink is hearing about this warmth as it meets with enterprise architecture teams at some of the largest companies in the world. At one such meeting, the company in question assembled enterprise architects from all corners of their organization to discuss their roadmap for implementing Service-oriented architecture (SOA). It was the first time in almost six years that this group of about 25 people got together. SOA was the raison d’etre for this latest meeting, a further indication of SOA’s rising temperature. We spent two days going over the technical and organizational challenges that they faced as they considered the move to SOA. By the end of this architecture-fest, they had hammered out some critical action items to help them move forward with their SOA plans. Before we wrapped up on the second day, they had…

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