TenFold: Accelerating Business-Focused Composite Application Creation
One of the greatest challenges to implementing Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is in making the Service-Oriented Business Applications formed by composing Services simple, flexible, and business-focused. Too often, companies don’t know how to compose loosely-coupled Services into business processes that meet continually changing business needs. TenFold takes a model-driven approach to composite application creation with their EnterpriseTenFold SOA tool, providing a rapid, iterative approach to dynamic composite application creation that enables business users to model their requirements and then render the desired applications minimizing the need for writing any programming code. [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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REST and Web Services: The ZapThink Take
Question: what do you call two or more architects in a room? Answer: an argument. Now that Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is the topic du jour within many such rooms in enterprises today, one favorite argument is over Representational State Transfer (REST) and its relationship to Web Services. Many such discussions degenerate into a religious discussion over which approach is better, but as with most arguments in the SOA space, the reality is far more subtle. Up until now, ZapThink has been happy to stay on the sidelines of this battle, but the time has come for us to weigh in with the ZapThink take on the REST vs. Web Services debate. The Context for REST and Web Services This perennial debate centers on a core challenge of SOA: what is the best way to create a loosely-coupled Service interface? One approach is the style of distributed computing known as…

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RAX-J: Radically Improving the Processing of XML Applications
XML is rapidly becoming the protocol and format of choice for interactions among disparate systems and organizations connected via networks. More than a text-based, metadata format for data interoperability, XML is now the answer to solving many of the long-standing issues with application and data integration as well as providing a lingua franca for developers to create application programming interfaces (APIs) that arbitrary systems can interact with. Despite all the positive momentum that XML continues to garner in the enterprise, XML remains a highly inefficient and burdensome protocol to process. XML processing requires a dozen steps or more, including parsing, decryption, validation, and message transformation activities. This burdensome collection of tasks is increasingly bogging down systems with menial chores before they can even begin processing business logic. This paper aims to take the XML processing challenge one step further by suggesting that developers are the cause of many of…

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SOA for Independent Software Vendors (ISVs)
As Enterprise Architecture, Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is particularly useful in large enterprises, and increasingly, to small and midsize businesses, as well. However, those are only one part of the IT ecosystem. What about those companies that are in the business of building and selling software products, so called independent software vendors (ISVs)? Generally speaking, ISVs create and sell software products that run on one or more IT platforms. ISVs might offer consulting services, but they typically aren’t consulting companies per se. Neither are they simply Value-Added Resellers (VARs) or Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs), who embed or customize someone else’s products. Rather, ISVs sell their own intellectual property as installable, configurable software. The largest software vendors are responsible for the enterprise applications that we run, the operating systems we use, and the infrastructure platforms on top of which we conduct business — think IBM, Microsoft, SAP, Oracle, HP, and CA.

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StrikeIron: Taking the Complexity out of Service Consumption
The traditional route for most independent software or hardware vendors (ISVs) to differentiate their application functionality is to build or acquire functionality and then integrate it tightly into their own offerings. However, over time, this approach leads to substantial complexity and brittleness as customer requirements and business objectives change. The introduction of Web Services and Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) offers ISVs a new opportunity to add functionality to their offerings without having to build or acquire that technology and then go through a painful technology merging process. The ability to consume third-party Services that other vendors provide is a new capability that ISVs should explore as they continue to seek differentiation for their offerings. In this ZapNote, we explore the idea of embedding third-party Services within ISV offerings and how to do so without adding to their complexity. [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this…

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Solving the Service Granularity Challenge
For us analysts that have been covering the markets around XML, Web Services, and Service Orientation it certainly is heartening to see that our audience of end users, vendors, and consulting firms are now asking some of the more complex and deeper questions around how to do architecture right. It seems that we’ve finally crossed the chasm and architects in particular now have a pretty good idea what SOA is and why they need it. Rather than trying to redefine what SOA is and what is means to the business, people are focusing on the more important issue of how to do SOA right. In that vein, some of our most recent conversations have centered on how to go about building the “right” Services. A key part of answering this question is making sure that we build Services at the right level of granularity. Granularity is a relative measure…

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Service Orient or Be Doomed: ZapThink Analysts Announce Publication of their Latest Book!
Ever wonder why businesses are unable to keep up with today’s pace of change? Name your business goal–productivity, profitability, efficiency; today, they all depend on Information Technology (IT). IT is more important to business today than it ever was. While IT in the past has helped companies increasingly make their businesses more productive and efficient, today’s IT is simply getting in the way of change. It is increasingly becoming clear that the way that businesses utilize IT is increasingly making them less agile, less responsive to change, and less able to capitalize on new opportunities. Something has to be done to stop the problem of IT becoming the bottleneck of business. SERVICE ORIENT OR BE DOOMED! How Service Orientation will Change Your Business (Wiley, February 24, 2006;$39.95 cloth) is the first book aimed at regular businesspeople that helps business become more agile by offering technological, process, and cultural changes…

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Understanding the Relationships among Services, Contracts, and Policies
If you’ve been programming computers as long as we have, you probably remember the first time you tried to write an object-oriented program, maybe in C++ or Java. The tendency was to put all the code into a single object. It took a while to finally get our heads around the new approach to software that objects represented. After all, learning how to code in C++ or Java was easy, but learning how to build an “object” was really hard. At some point, however, there was that “aha” moment, and from then on, you always wondered why you had ever programmed any other way. Moving to Service-oriented development requires the same sort of mind shift. Developers tend to build Services as though they were simply APIs to existing functionality. Sure, Web Services enable standards-based interfaces, but what’s the big deal with that? Just as putting all the code into a…

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Running the SOA Project
Module #4 from the ZapThink Licensed Partner Program training materials. This module covers: Key Elements of Successful SOA Projects Building the right SOA team The Roles of SOA Org/People Challenges People, Change and Fear Interaction Challenges Convincing Technical Specialists Working with IT Middle Management The “Ivory Tower” Problem Tackling the Project Iteratively Implementing SOA: Bottom-Up Implementing SOA: Top-Down Starting Point: Architectural Visioning Session Challenge: Service Granularity Project Management for an SOA Project Enabling Service Domains The Power of the SOA Center of Excellence CurrentStateSOAPractice-Europe-022006-ZTP-0212-1…

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