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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Tracking the Elusive SOA Platform
ZapThink fears no loaded hype-word, and in this ZapFlash, we take on one of the gnarliest: platform. While there are many definitions of this term, the one that we focus on here is the notion of a runtime execution infrastructure that allows compiled and/or uncompiled code to run. However, this definition is tricky because Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is not about the code, but rather the composition of Services into flexible processes. Naturally, there must exist some runtime infrastructure for Services to actually run, only now, we mean something different by the word “run.” SOA, after all, is enterprise architecture that leverages heterogeneity, so an SOA platform would have to be inherently platform-neutral. Furthermore, SOA is more concerned with the Service interface and above (including composition metadata, security policy, and dynamic binding information), more so than what sits beneath the abstraction of the Service interface. Maybe you picked up on…

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Levi, Ray, & Shoup Inc.: Rewriting Business Applications in a Service-Oriented Fashion
Founded in 1979, Levi, Ray, & Shoup (LRS) originally focused on Enterprise Output Management (EOM) solutions that take output from MVS mainframes and route it to network attached printers. The company quickly expanded to produce solutions for state and local pension funds. Given the long history of the company’s offerings, the product has gone through a few revisions, first coded for mainframe operation, and later modified it for client/server, desktop OS, and then Web-based operation. However, all this modification resulted in code that was frequently customized and “forked” for the benefit of individual customer requirements, resulting in overly-complex application logic, expensive customization, and inability to repurpose the application for new interfaces or other purposes. As such, the company decided in 2004 to take the bold and courageous move to completely rewrite their business application from scratch in a Service-oriented fashion. With SOA, LRS now has a way to truly configure…

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Accenture: SOA as Strategic Architecture for Improving Business Performance
Professional services firm Accenture’s core mission is to improve the business performance of its clients. Accenture accomplishes this mission through a combination of business process expertise and technical consulting. Accenture’s technology roadmap offers their clients an approach to building information technology solutions and approaches that will meet the goal of business performance improvement. Accenture believes that Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) will underpin this technology roadmap. They believe SOA will be the single dominant technical architecture in the future, driven primarily by the need for interoperability. As a result, they are recommending and implementing SOA-based approaches for improving the business of clients worldwide.[hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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UDDI: Straw Man or Ugly Duckling?
The Universal Description, Discovery, and Integration (UDDI) standard is the least understood and often the most maligned of the core Web Services standards. Unlike its now well-understood cousins SOAP and WSDL, UDDI has experienced limited and sporadic adoption by companies implementing Web Services-based SOAs. This lukewarm reception is particularly surprising, considering that discovery is a core feature of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), and SOAs are all the buzz in IT shops around the world today. So, what’s the problem with UDDI, anyway? Why is it so misunderstood? And most important, what will the future bring for UDDI adoption? Off to a Poor Start: the UDDI Straw Man UDDI was originally the brainchild of a consortium of vendors led by IBM, Microsoft, and Ariba in 2000. SOA proponents primarily at IBM promoted the “publish-find-bind” SOA triangle, and sketched out the core of UDDI to provide a standard way of handling…

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Web Services Management
Key Points: The short term trend in the WSM market is primarily one of fragmentation. The longer term trend is to the SOAIF, as customers look to vendors to provide coordinated frameworks that offer not just management capabilities, but all the components needed to build, run, and manage SOAs. The opportunities for new entrants in the Web Services Management market will peak in 2004-2005, and drop off rapidly thereafter as incumbents move to consolidate the market. There is a rapidly closing window of opportunity for new entrants in the WSM space to achieve sufficient customer traction to establish themselves as successful WSM vendors. Companies building enterprise SOAs require SOA enablement capabilities, including dependency management, active routing, protocol translation, metadata management, and Service provisioning. Table of Contents: I. Web Services Management: A Transitional Market II. State of the WSM Market 2.1. Vendor Landscape 2.1.1. SOA Enablement 2.1.2. Web Services Security 2.1.3.

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ZapThink: Web Services Management Market Set To Expand Dramatically; Growth Tempered by Fragmentation of Market Leading to Dominance by Incumbent Vendors
“Companies are coming to understand that Web Services Management is critical for both the operation of Web Services as well as SOAs,” said Jason Bloomberg, Senior Analyst with ZapThink. “As a result, vendors in this space are finding customer traction by offering a range of different capabilities, from monitoring, to SOA enablement, to metadata management.” Read more at: BusinessWire…

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ESB: Just another TLA?
Analyst firms are often fond of creating new terms that define constantly shifting markets. After all, such new terms help to categorize vendor companies into segments that they can easily quantify and explain in the context of the greater IT marketplace. They also help the analyst groups organize themselves and their research. Many times, however, such analyst-speak is more of a hindrance than a help. New terminology often introduces ambiguity and confusion in the market when end-users aren’t sure about how to apply the new term to the vendors they are considering for a particular project. Such confusion is especially prevalent surrounding the term Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) that is making its way into the PowerPoint presentations of vendors very small to very large. Just how useful is the term ESB? Is it just another Three-Letter Acronym (TLA) of limited use? ESBs: What are They? An ESB…

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The Portability Pitfall
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you know that the big IT news this month is the new détente between Microsoft and Sun Microsystems. Once bitter enemies, these adversaries have agreed to lay down their arms and work together in the spirit of interoperability — at least in principle. There are many facets to this thawing of relations, including joint licensing, settlement of lawsuits, and a hefty check, but both sides claim that the real motivation for the agreement is to improve interoperability between each vendor’s products — because, after all, their mutual customers are demanding interoperability. If you look closely at what Microsoft and Sun are actually saying about interoperability, however, then there are some ominous signs that the two vendors aren’t truly seeing eye-to-eye on what interoperability is really all about. The fundamental difference lies in the distinction between interoperability and portability. These two approaches to…

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