Avoid Vendor Driven Architecture (VDA)!
When looking at the technology buying patterns in the world of SOA, there is one common thread. The Global 2000 and many government agencies purchase SOA technology from their existing vendors, no matter what their needs or requirements might be. I call these purchasing solutions “comfort technologies” since they consider the relationship with the vendor before the value of the technology itself. It’s comforting to deal with the same company, people, and platform. Moreover, many of the companies that work with “comfort technologies” allow the vendors to design and define their solution. I call these vendor-driven architectures, or VDAs, but they are always called a Bad Idea if you understand the core issues. What’s most disturbing is that this situation seems to be an emerging buying pattern. Architects make the “SOA deal” with a vendor in hopes that some magical technology will emerge from the box that…

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ZapThink Acquires SOA Leader Linthicum Group, LLC
BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ZapThink, LLC, the industry’s foremost advisory firm focused on Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) today announces the acquisition of The Linthicum Group, LLC, a well-respected SOA consulting firm, and the addition of David S. Linthicum to ZapThink. ZapThink will expand its intellectual property and team with expertise and resources from the acquisition to provide ZapThink customers with expert SOA advisory, research, and guidance. The announcement was made during Linthicum’s keynote address to the e-Gov Institute’s 7th Enterprise Architecture Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC. “Dave brings significant market visibility, thought leadership, a deep understanding of enterprise architecture, and proven approaches and methodologies for SOA adoption,” says Ronald Schmelzer, Managing Partner at ZapThink. “We see the addition of David and the Linthicum Group team as strategic to the ZapThink offerings, providing us with the ability to better service our expanding combined client base.” In addition to the Linthicum Group’s well-respected…

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Reinventing OSS with SOA & Federated Data
Written by ZapThink analysts Tony Baer and Jason Bloomberg. Over the past decade, technology and market forces have driven convergence across the telecommunications sector, with barriers to entry being eroded at an ever increasing pace. The “triple play” and “multi-play” service bundles that include voice, video, and data services are symptoms of an industry that is rapidly evolving from its highly regulated past. As technology has transformed the landscape, it has also transformed customer expectations. Yesterday, the network was the operator business. Today, the network is just a means to delivering customers the diverse experiences they demand. JacobsRimell has correctly perceived the change in the industry, and has developed a next generation Operations Support System (OSS) that shifts the focus from the network to customer. It does so with an identity-based federated data model and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) best practices that enable operators to refocus their business on…

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SOA Consortium Presents: SOA Governance Roundtable Podcast
The SOA Consortium is an advocacy group of end users, service providers and technology vendors committed to helping the Global 1000 successfully adopt Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) by 2010. SOA Consortium founding enterprise members include Fortune 200 companies in Financial Services, Travel, Manufacturing, Retail and Telecommunications. Founding sponsors are BEA Systems, Inc., Cisco, IBM Corporation, and SAP AG. Participants in the consortium to date include: Aberdeen Group, Adaptive, Inc, American Red Cross, Avis Budget Car Rental, Bank of America, Capability Measurement, Cape Clear Software, Inc., CellExchange, Inc., Center for Public-Private Enterprise, CGI, CSC, EDS, Equally Keen, Ltd., Federal Signal Corp., General Services Administration, Helm Solutions Group, HP, Hurwitz & Associates, Interoperability Clearinghouse, Integration Consortium, iWay Software, Kohl’s Department Stores, Lake Trail Partners, LLC, MAKE Technologies Inc., Maryfran Johnson & Associates, Object Management Group, Penn National Insurance, SAIC, PHS Operation, SDG Corporation, Sonoa Systems, TethersEnd Consulting, Thomas & Hebert, Torry Harris…

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The SOA Marketing Paradox and the Wizard of Oz
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) presents a challenge to software marketing people like none other in recent history. On the one hand, SOA has been the top enterprise software bandwagon to jump on for the last four years or so, but on the other hand, many vendors have struggled to tell the proper SOA story for their products in a way that leads to increased sales and happy customers. The reason SOA presents such a formidable challenge is at once both subtle and obvious. After all, SOA is architecture — it is a set of best practices enterprises follow to organize their IT resources to meet the needs of the business. SOA, however, is not, and never will be, a set of product features. And therein lies the rub. How do you position your product as a SOA product when SOA consists of best practices, not product features? SOA and the…

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SOA Quality across the Service Lifecycle
As organizations move beyond straighforward implementations of Web Services to the more complex world of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), maintaining the quality of the implementation in the face of changing business requirements becomes an increasingly difficult challenge. In the final analysis, quality represents how well a system meets the needs of the business, so when the business case for SOA calls for business agility, SOA quality means meeting business requirements as those requirements are in an ongoing, continual state of change. As a result, SOA quality extends well beyond traditional quality assurance tasks to cover the full Service lifecycle, and encompasses both SOA management and governance into a broad set of capabilities that any organization must implement in order to be successful with their SOA initiatives. Sponsored by iTKO.[hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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The Concrete Abstraction of the Business Service
It may come as a surprise to our long-term readers that even after seven years of talking about Web Services and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), ZapThink still has something novel and interesting to say about what a Service truly is. But in fact, although we define the term repeatedly for business, technical, and mixed audiences, there are still some subtleties to the definition that underscore the fundamental nature of the Service abstraction, and they also underscore the connection between that abstraction and some of the infrastructure choices Service-oriented architects must make. So, without fear of tripping up on the oxymoron of a concrete abstraction, let’s delve into what ZapThink really means by a Service. Implementations, Interfaces, and Abstractions As we discussed in our Subtleties of Service Convergence ZapFlash, the term “Service” is overloaded even within the IT context. But while that ZapFlash differentiated between the Services we speak…

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Software AG CentraSite Community
Written by Tony Baer, Associate Analyst, ZapThink. Governance is drawing significant attention from the boardroom down as a result of heightened regulation, increased competition, and constant change in the marketplace. There are two faces to SOA governance. On one hand, SOA governance simply means governing a SOA implementation initiative—for example, communicating corporate policies to developers implementing Services, and giving them the tools they need to follow those policies as they assemble the various elements of the SOA implementation. On the other hand, there’s a broader, more strategic definition of SOA governance: IT governance in the context of SOA. Software AG takes a big picture view to SOA governance, based on the premise that SOA governance extends well beyond the governing of Web Services. It believes that the extensible nature of SOA requires a similarly extensible strategy to governance. Software AG has established the CentraSite Community as its strategy…

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SOA: Building the Roadmap
Written by ZapThink Associate Analyst Tony Baer. By now, most Information Technology (IT) organizations have become aware of the potential of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to pierce through those silos. Just as Rome wasn’t built in a day, implementing SOA should be an incremental, iterative process that should start modestly. Your first foray into a SOA implementation should be through a pilot project, where your organization has the opportunity to conduct an evaluation to determine whether to make further investments. The goal is gain experience while mitigating the risks. Consequently, the scope of the pilot should be limited. Choose a handful of Services that will make a difference, and that people will notice. Governance is essential. Lacking governance, SOA projects become yet another example of undisciplined software development. As your organization becomes more experienced with SOA, it eventually learns to compose business Services bridging those silos, and gradually becomes…

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The Value of SOA Governance
The definition of corporate governance is creating, communicating, and enforcing policies in a corporate environment. Governance is the key to balancing executive control with employee and customer empowerment across the enterprise. While many corporate governance activities don’t directly involve the information technology (IT) department, the enterprise does call upon IT to provide tooling for automating policy creation and enforcement, when it’s possible to represent policies in a machine-understandable format. Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is an approach to organizing IT resources to meet the changing needs of the business in flexible ways. Governance is an essential part of any SOA implementation, because it ensures that the organization applies and enforces the policies that apply to the Services that the organization creates as part of its SOA initiative. But more importantly, organizations can leverage SOA best practices to represent policies broadly in such a way that the organization can achieve better policy…

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