SOA: Integration vs. Business Process?
At the Integration Consortium’s recent Global Integration Summit, I sat next to a fellow at lunch who had been in the integration business his entire career. He began his career hand-coding integrations to IBM mainframes, and over the next twenty years, had connected one system to another using sockets, adapters, and several generations of middleware. It’s no wonder, then, that when the topic of conversation shifted to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), he looked at the concept through integration-colored glasses. From his perspective, SOA was about leveraging Web Services as standards-based adapters, and loose coupling amounted to little more than requiring various endpoints to support the same set of open standards. In fact, ever since ZapThink coined the term “Service Oriented Integration” (SOI) back in 2002, there’s been unceasing confusion on just how Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) and integration relate to one another. Several…

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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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Does Cloud Computing Hold Water? (Part II)
In our previous ZapFlash, ZapThink Managing Partner Jason Bloomberg explored the recent upswing in interest in Cloud Computing and evaluated its merits vis-à-vis Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). In that ZapFlash, Jason concluded that cloud computing is an ill-defined term that has turned into a bandwagon that vendors, consultants, and end-users alike are jumping on without asking first where they are going. He also complained that there is a broad chasm between the sort of public clouds espoused by organizations like Amazon and the internal do-it-yourself clouds that large vendors would like you to sink your time and money into. But, his biggest bugaboo was that too many well-intentioned individuals and organizations are jumping without doing architecture of any sort, let alone SOA. Lack of an architecture perspective, preferably a Service-oriented one, is sure to doom any cloud computing effort just as much as it has doomed Web Services on…

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Cloud Computing and SOA: Same but Different
Presentation for the Cordys Webinar earlier in March 2009 on the topic of “Cloud Computing and SOA”. Key Takeaways: Cloud provides a good excuse to stop thinking about the ESB as central (or even necessary) for SOA Cloud, cloud, cloud — the same hype as SOA, SOA, SOA? From a SOA perspective, is Cloud Computing SaaS+Virtualization + SOA? SOA provides the fundamental architecture perspective on making loosely coupled, location independent, virtualized capabilities possible. Cloud is a way to apply SOA in a virtualized manner Will Cloud be the new hype center? [hide -2]Download File[/hide][hide +1]Subscribe Today to Get Access![/hide]…

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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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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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Why Today is a Perfect Time for No-Platform SOA
ZapThink’s integration cost curve, which we published back in 2002, continues to stir discussion amongst our Licensed ZapThink Architects. In brief, our argument is that while traditional middleware-based integration leads to unpredictable spikes in cost when business requirements change, taking a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach to solving integration challenges leads to a flattened cost of change. Implementing SOA means building for change, so the argument goes, so while there will continue to be some ongoing costs, a fundamentally agile architecture will smooth out the ups and downs of IT integration expense. Cut to the end of 2008. Today, in spite of ZapThink’s repeated warnings about taking an ESB-first approach to SOA, many organizations have bowed to vendor pressure and have undertaken an ESB-first, “SOA platform” approach to implementing SOA. As we stated in that ZapFlash, it’s possible to implement SOA with an ESB, and many organizations…

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Business Agility as an Emergent Property of SOA
As students go through our Licensed ZapThink Architect (LZA) course, they experience a series of “aha” moments, as we systematically tear down their preconceptions about what Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is — and what it is not. But perhaps the biggest aha moment of all, however, is when they realize that implementing SOA isn’t traditional systems engineering (TSE) at all, but rather a fundamentally different approach to dealing with complexity in the IT environment. Needless to say, this realization is an especially big wakeup call for people with TSE backgrounds! The fundamental shift in thinking is this: TSE focuses on building big systems out of small components, where the behavior of the resulting system depends directly on the properties of the components. Essentially, TSE boils down to a “connecting things” way of thinking about distributed computing, where integration is the central activity, and what you end up with when…

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