Avoiding Bad SOA
Unfortunately, there is no way that Zapthink can make guarantees about the success of your Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) initiative. Sure, we often write and speak of SOA best practices and implementation roadmaps and the like, but even if you read all our stuff and truly understand SOA, there are no guarantees that you’ll actually do SOA right. On the contrary, it’s actually quite easy to build a bad SOA — an architecture that may technically be Service-oriented, but will not solve the business problems that led you to make an architectural change in the first place. The best practices that make up SOA are not fully baked, and therefore, there are many wrong turns that companies make as they stumble their way through their SOA projects. There is some good news, however. As an increasing number of companies blaze SOA trails, ZapThink is collecting the lessons of their mistakes, and…

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ThoughtWorks: Focusing on the Technology of Web Services & SOA
ThoughtWorks is a midsize global IT consulting firm that offers custom software development, integration services, Web Services development, and enterprise architecture consulting. Rather than providing high-level business consulting, the company focuses its resources squarely on providing technology solutions to problems companies face. However, despite the seemingly narrow focus of the firm, the company offers true thought leadership, in particular in the area of distributed development using a global delivery model and agile methodologies, which both lowers their clients’ risk and helps them attract top-notch technical talent. Specifically, ThoughtWorks has completed several Web Services and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) projects over the last few years, focusing on projects that involve legacy integration, leveraging their expertise with both the .NET and Java environments. ThoughtWorks’ technical depth, expertise with agile methodologies, and experience building SOA implementations positions them as a significant player in the SOA consulting marketplace. ThoughtWorks-022005-ZTZN-1170-1…

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Announcing ZapForum Webcasts: The Hottest New Concept for People Interested in SOA Today!
Think of a call-in radio talk show combined with presentations from ZapThink’s leading experts. Now throw in an ever-growing network of influential SOA implementers. Add insightful commentary from guest speakers, and you have a ZapForum Webcast – the hottest new concept for people interested in SOA today! Sometimes Irreverent Often Controversial Always Insightful Every month ZapThink will host the online ZapForum Webcast. Each Webcast will start with thought-provoking content lead by ZapThink SOA experts. After this session, the ZapForum Webcast will feature a guest or two who will present, speak, and take Q&A from online attendees. Afterwards, the rest of the hour is open to the audience for Q&A and shared experiences, so expect to hear what’s really on people’s minds! Attendance at each Webcast is open to all registered ZapThink users! JOIN AND LEVERAGE THE GROWING NETWORK OF EDUCATED, INFORMED, AND INFLUENTIAL INDIVIDUALS WHO ARE MAKING SOA…

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Who's in Charge of your SOA?
As forward-looking enterprises move beyond the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) pilot stage and plan their cross-departmental SOA initiatives, they quickly come to the realization that the technology challenges they face are actually the easy part of their SOA rollout. Far more challenging are the organizational and management issues they must overcome to successfully meet their business goals for the initiative. Of these, the critical management issue (and here we mean management by humans, not systems management) is that of control. Who is in charge of defining, managing, and running the shared Services the SOA offers? How must a company organize itself to manage the dynamic business processes that people across the organization can now create by composing Services and other processes? And of course, how should a company pay for the whole mess — Services, processes, and the architecture itself? The management and control issues that SOA introduce result from…

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Solving the Very Large Messaging Problem in the Enterprise
Companies are increasingly seeking to tie together their disparate enterprise using the promising, but emerging technologies of XML, Web Services, and Service-Oriented Architectures. These approaches promise significant business agility in the face of IT heterogeneity. However, these benefits come at a price: performance and efficiency. As the network traffic increases due to the increasing size and volume of messages, both XML and non-XML based, existing corporate IT infrastructure will be taxed to its limit. General-purpose application servers, network equipment, and messaging infrastructure will be increasingly devoted to simple message parsing, handling, and routing functions, while precious few resources will be left to execute the core business logic so important to companies. Research shows that the quantity and size of these metadata-laden messages won’t be decreasing soon. Developers and specifications bodies continue to tax messaging systems with additional layers of headers and metadata meant to abstract underlying infrastructure. Increasingly large…

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Taking Business Logic to the Next Level with SOA
Coding business logic is the only way to satisfy business requirements in information technology (IT), and businesses have been doing so for decades, albeit with limited success. The fundamental problem with business logic has been its inflexibility–business needs change, and the logic can’t keep up. While there have been modest flexibility improvements since the days when all application functionality resided on the same system, the unfortunate truth is that these advances have been little more than a business logic shell game, moving the hard-coded logic from one system to another. Instead of solving the problem, businesses are in the habit of creating instant legacy code all over their infrastructure. Today’s business requires more flexibility from its IT, and fortunately, IT has a new approach to distributed computing that promises the business agility that companies crave. That solution is Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA). SOA is an approach to distributed computing…

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ZapThink Announces ZapNetwork for Individuals and Companies
The fast-paced SOA and Web Services markets continue mature at a rapid pace, and ZapThink is always on the lookout for ways to better provide value to you. We’ve had our heads down for the last few weeks, and we’ve come up with some exciting changes. INTRODUCING THE ZAPNETWORK Ever want unlimited access to all the research that ZapThink produces, but can’t afford the all-inclusive ZapAccess program? Trying to get beyond the “what” questions, and find answers to the the “how” of SOA? Want unlimited premium research access for LESS THAN THE COST of a 2-day conference? If so, then join the ZapNetwork today! The ZapNetwork includes ZapForum Webcasts, which are regularly scheduled “call-in” Web-based programs on various SOA-related topics, an expanded ZapThink Web site, all of ZapThink’s research, and more! While ZapNetwork subscriptions don’t include any advisory time with ZapThink’s SOA experts, they do…

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No, Virginia, there is no SOA Wizard
The lights have come down, the ornaments are packed away, and the Boy Scouts have the tree. It’s time to put away the magic of the holiday season and get back to the realities of the working world. While ZapThink predicts 2005 will be a big year for Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), we must always balance the enthusiasm with a cool blast of reality — and today’s reality check is for the vendors who say their products are SOAs, or make building SOA a simple, automated task. Well, Virginia, there is no SOA wizard — you know, the kind of wizard where click, click, click, and voila! You have an SOA! The fact of the matter is that no product will ever truly automate the creation of SOA, because SOA is architecture, and as such is a set of best practices, or a discipline, if you will. You can never get…

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