SOA Governance
In today’s tough business climate of heightened competition, complex regulations, and constant change, the issue of corporate governance has risen to the top of many executives’ minds. Management must be able to set the groundrules that everybody within their company has to follow, they must require the visibility needed to confirm that people are following the rules, and they must have the control necessary to make the appropriate adjustments. No area of an enterprise’s operations are as complex as information technology (IT). Combine this complexity with the typical IT shop’s inflexibility and opacity, and it’s no wonder that IT governance is the most critical area of corporate governance in today’s competitive enterprise. Of all the different elements and processes that make up IT governance, the ones that focus on enterprise architecture are the most important, because architecture provides the framework for the IT infrastructure and its use within the…

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Infosys: Global Consulting Powerhouse
Infosys is a global IT services powerhouse that is transforming the world of professional services, systems integration, and global outsourced IT development and management. Their growth has been unimpeded, even through the difficult post dot-com boom years, mainly due to their innovative Global Delivery Model (GDM) approach. Web Services and SOA factor into their growth story by providing the technical underpinnings for achieving even greater amounts of efficiency and business value for their customers. This ZapNote explores Infosys’s overall business and one of the implementation frameworks they have developed to bootstrap Web Services implementations by providing an infrastructure for implementing SOA. [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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Putting The Control Of The Business Process Into The Business User’s Hands
In business, the only constant is change. Businesses, like people, are continuously evolving and as such face rapid and continual change. As markets and customer needs evolve, enterprises must respond with new ways to attract and retain customers and partners, increase operational efficiency, and achieve greater visibility into their business processes. In most businesses, however, business people control the processes, while IT people control the systems. IT staff see business processes through the lens of the low-level parts of the flow, rather than at the business level. As a result, they aren’t capable of implementing the processes so that they will meet continuously changing business requirements, thus impeding business agility. Business users are increasingly demanding that they have control over their own business processes — and so, are requiring systems that put control of the flow and logic into their hands, not those of IT. Fiorano Software offers…

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Outsourcing, SOA, and the Industrialization of IT
Long-time ZapThink readers know that we favor tying technology concepts to business issues. After all, the greatest benefit of Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is the business value it offers via increased business agility. Our readers might expect, then, that when we get around to the high-profile business topic of outsourcing, we will build the argument that SOA helps companies outsource, because SOA provides an abstraction layer on top of existing technology resources, allowing third parties to provide those resources more easily, with business users ideally being none the wiser. Well, that argument is part of the story, but in this ZapFlash, we’re going one big step further. SOA and outsourcing are actually both key aspects of the movement of IT towards an industrialized model. Industrialization embodies a number of major concepts: the mechanization of production so that the mass assembly of components provide significant improvements in efficiency and cost, the…

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How Loose is your Coupling?
One of the repeating themes that ZapThink frequently touts is the concept of loose coupling as one of the idées fortes or powerful tenets of Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs). In fact, there’s so much emphasis on loose coupling that many people jump to two natural, but false conclusions: first, that because loose coupling is so good, then tight coupling must be bad, and second, that there are only two levels of coupling, namely loose and tight. Well, neither of these statements is truly accurate. First, some definitions. Coupling is a term that describes the level of common knowledge necessary by a provider and a consumer in a distributed computing exchange. In a tightly coupled exchange, the programmer of one participant (say, the consumer, or client) must have detailed knowledge about the behavior, such as the method calls, messaging protocol, synchronous behavior, or message semantics, of the other participant (in…

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SAIC – SOA Case Study: The Navy/Marine Corps Intranet
Science Applications International Corporation (SAIC) is a well-known, established, and respected systems integrator and professional services firm that services many of the largest corporations and government agencies. With over $6 Billion in revenue, the company is now looking to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) to help further their integration practice around legacy enablement, application consolidation, and improving the economics of IT for their customers. In this ZapNote, Zapthink analyzes an SOA approach that SAIC is adopting for proposed use in migrating thousands of applications made apparent by ongoing implementation of the Navy Marine Corps Intranet (NMCI). The NMCI project is of a significant magnitude, and represents new territory for architectural approaches such as SOA. It is clear that if SAIC can satisfy NMCI’s need for legacy migration, then SOA is a viable approach for complex environments such as these.

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Who is the SOA Buyer?
A well-known saying goes that the road to business success is littered with failed companies that had great technology. After all, a good product or technology concept alone is not sufficient to guarantee success in the market. Good companies also need effective sales and marketing to bring a well-understood product to the market. However, companies in emerging markets such as those for Web Services and Service-oriented architecture (SOA) products often forge ahead with their product development and sales plans without answering the critical question: “Who is the buyer of my product, and what problem of theirs does my product solve?” The answer to this question can often be surprisingly challenging for companies who are looking to sell their Web Services and SOA wares, since the broad, enterprise nature of SOA initiatives can make it quite unclear who the buyer is. SOA: Everybody’s Business Because SOA is an architectural…

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Process, Presentation, and Integration
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), just like any other software architecture approach, is difficult. Because enterprise SOAs can abstract a broad, heterogeneous set of applications and systems, building an SOA that provides agility, flexibility, and reuse to the business user is particularly challenging. The challenge for software vendors looking to offer SOA solutions to the market is to put the control of the business into the hands of business users. Users must have a flexible interface that allows them to build, modify, and manage the business processes in the enterprise. The underlying infrastructure should be invisible to the business user, yet respond quickly and efficiently to changes in the business environment. SOA solutions must therefore tie together the presentation layer, business process, and the underlying infrastructure, enabling business users to create and manage composite applications. Netherlands-based Cordys is a global enterprise solutions vendor who is tackling three key elements of…

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Software's Dirty Little Secret
Since the days of Bletchley Park‘s Colossus, the world’s first programmable computer, the creation of software has been separate from the production of the machines that run that software. For the first time, a machine was programmable instead of purpose-built. In other words, people did not determine the specific requirements for computers before they built them. Instead, programmers wrote software later to meet those requirements. No longer did hardware have purpose-built requirements; instead, people had the meta-requirement of programmability — the requirement that they be flexible enough to meet as-yet undefined requirements at some point in the future. Today, we use the term high technology to refer in part to programmable machines — whether they be computers or any number of other devices with the computer chips that enable them to meet the meta-requirement of programmability. While computers are high tech, the surprising fact is that software…

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Network Operations and Application Development: Different Worlds No More
Today‚Äôs corporate network has evolved from a convenient means to connect a few important systems to critical infrastructure on which the lifeblood of an organization runs. Companies today are dependent on their networks to enable their core applications and business processes, and any network disruption has a profound impact on the financial health of the organization. Yet, despite the important role that networks serve, the realms of application development and network operations have traditionally been separate, disconnected domains. Developers usually build applications that run on servers, and network administrators maintain and configure the network that connects them, but rarely vice-versa. As a result, these two sets of professionals rarely have the opportunity to work together directly. One of the surprising side effects of the movement to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), however, is that this natural separation between application development and network operations is breaking down. The reason for this unexpected trend…

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