SOA for Value Chains
Enterprises of all sizes have long sought to automate business-to-business (B2B) interactions in a reliable and secure manner. The chain of interaction, or value chain, from the suppliers of components to the assembly of those components into finished goods to the end customer is a complex web of interactions. Each manufacturer of finished goods has relationships with dozens or hundreds of suppliers, each of which in turn have relationships with dozens or hundreds of manufacturing customers. These interrelationships have enabled increasing sophistication in the way that companies buy and sell raw materials and sell their products on the market. The increasing globalization of business has resulted in suppliers existing anywhere in the world, covering many different countries, languages, and time zones. This globalization has added challenges and pressures in the effort to optimize supply chains, increasing the value proposition of agile, flexible IT systems based on SOA. In order…

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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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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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The Sunset of Legacy
Among the most persistent of humanity’s aspirations is the quest for immortality. We are all too conscious of the limitations of our bodies and our lives and seek some religious faith, fountain of youth or cryogenic miracle that can sustain us forever. And yet, immortality is an unattainable goal. As such, we shift our ambitions for endless life to the things we do control: our IT systems and solutions that we implement in hopes they stay alive forever. We have long been trained to build our IT systems to last. However, this approach to IT ironically means that we are building things that by definition will become obsolete, given the constant, unpredictable changes in business and IT. Service Orientation, however, promises to change this build-to-last approach to IT. By building inherently flexible systems, maybe we finally have a way to unlock the shackles of legacy. The fact still remains, however,…

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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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Peer-to-Peer Services
For several years now, ZapThink has spoken of the “horseless carriage” view of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). Just as people thought of early automobiles as carriages, only without the horse, today people are thinking of SOA as traditional integration, only now with Web Services. In retrospect, we know now that cars really don’t need to look much at all like carriages, and once people became comfortable with autos in and of themselves, the industry began to take off. Today, the world of SOA is struggling with the same kind of mental shift, as companies struggle with the right way to deploy Services. One of the biggest challenges is whether to deploy Services through middleware approaches that leverage a centralized broker or bus of some sort through which Services can connect, or utilize a more distributed approach that treats Services as independent entities on the network, intermediated by distributed points of…

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Creating Contract and Policy Metadata
One of the first questions that archtiects and developers are posed with when building an SOA is exactly how to build a “Service”. Companies building loosely-coupled Services know that contracts and policies, built in metadata, are key to making SOA work. So, what exactly goes into Service contracts and policies, and what specifications are currently available to meet Service contract needs? This 24 slide presentation outlines some of the key issues in creating and implementing Service contracts as well as the steps companies should take to create them. HowBuildService-082005-ZTP-0184-1…

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What Belongs in a Service Contract?
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) has finally turned a corner: companies are shifting from the tentative first steps of Service enabling a few systems here and there to strategic SOA rollouts of all sizes that now have the blessing of senior management in the IT departments, and sometimes business executives themselves. In the hundreds of conversations that ZapThink has had in the past year, we have recognized a clear, decisive pattern of organizations moving toward SOA and away from the tightly-coupled, brittle integration approaches of yesterday. We’re no longer getting questions about the “whats” or “whys” of SOA, but rather the “hows” and “whens.” In fact, companies no longer discuss whether or not to embark on an SOA initiative. The eventual move to SOA is fast becoming a fait accompli. In the midst of this decisive move toward SOA, we are now starting to get more difficult, tactical questions about how to…

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SOA Big Picture & Architectural Deep Dive
This is a 47 slide presentation that outlines some of the SOA Big Picture items and focuses on Architectural Deep Dive issues What’s SOA Web Services in the present and in the future SOA implementation roadmap SOA enablement The SOA Implementation Roadmap SOA Meta Model – understanding the role of the Service Contract Contract-first development Security and Identity Management Runtime Service Management The role of the Registry Web Services Who does it right? [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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