Reaching the SOA Tipping Point
The core benefits that Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) promises–cost reduction, increased business visibility, business empowerment, and greater business agility–are becoming increasingly understood and sought after, but the fact remains that many organizations are still struggling with various challenges in the early stages of their SOA initiatives. Many such challenges are organizational and political, and as a result, many well-meaning SOA initiatives have devolved into stopgap measures and political compromises. Such projects risk failure, delays, and cancellations. To avoid such pitfalls, it’s increasingly important for organizations to take a pragmatic approach to SOA adoption that achieves business goals under the radar, building momentum and business value iteratively. For architects who are fed up with the status quo of IT and can see the big picture of the SOA value proposition for their organizations, taking such a pragmatic approach can be the most effective way to achieve the SOA tipping point, where…

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Avoid Getting Lost on the (Enterprise Service) Bus
So, you’ve been following ZapThink long enough to know that beginning a Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) project by purchasing an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) is starting at the wrong end of the initiative. Purchasing any technology, especially an ESB, at the beginning of an architecture project is a recipe for failure, you’ve been telling anyone who’ll listen. But for whatever reason, your organization didn’t pay attention to you, and now they’ve dropped a bundle on an ESB. Maybe your boss golfs with the vendor sales rep, or maybe the powers-that-be are listening to the wrong analyst firm, who knows. But in any case, you’re stuck with that decision, and you’re now expected to implement SOA with it. Fortunately, while purchasing an ESB too early in a SOA project does substantially increase your risk of failure, all is not lost. After all, you’re not alone; this mistake is one of the…

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HP Extends Quality and Management Software to Meet New Requirements for Mainstream SOA Adoption
“As SOA becomes an increasingly mainstream approach to enterprise architecture, HP continues to offer governance, quality and management products that form essential SOA infrastructure,” said Jason Bloomberg, managing partner at SOA advisory firm ZapThink. “HP’s new SOA testing and management products provide the framework enterprises require to ensure IT delivers production-ready services that can support business-critical applications and processes, making it easier for Quality Management and Operations groups to support SOA-based applications while leveraging existing IT investments and talent.” Read more at: Business Wire…

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What does Service Performance Mean?
Over the past few years, ZapThink has participated in and observed quite a few Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) deployments and roll-outs. While some of these deployments were more Web Services Integration than truly Service-oriented, and while some were more successful than others, the act of simply iterating the architecture and putting Services into production is forward progress for most companies. What these companies quickly realized is that creating Services and deploying infrastructure to run them is actually the easy part. Successfully getting users to consume those Services in a reliable manner, all the while supporting continuous change is the hard part. ZapThink has written numerous times about the challenges of putting Services into production with proper Governance, Quality, and Management, but in this ZapFlash, we’d like to focus on a more basic issue: that of Service performance. Just like the terms “security” and “quality”, performance…

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ZapThink’s Practical SOA New York/New Jersey Event Focuses on Best Practices, Case Studies from Finance, Insurance, Pharma, and Media Industries
(PRLEAP.COM) BALTIMORE, MD, February 27, 2008 – ZapThink announces today its upcoming Practical Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) New York / New Jersey conference in Newark, NJ featuring speakers, best practices, case studies, and lessons learned on the finance, pharmaceuticals, health care, insurance, and media industries in Newark, New Jersey on March 25, 2008. The Practical SOA event series is targeted at companies and individuals looking for practical business case studies and value propositions for SOA, those who want to learn the latest best practices for making SOA a success, those looking to hear from successful architects about their SOA efforts, want to learn from peers about what it takes to put together a successful SOA, and/or want to take their SOA efforts to the next level. “Companies are tired of all the hype surrounding Web Services and SOA, and are finding it difficult to learn what they really need to know…

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Goverance, Quality & Management
Discusses SOA Governance, SOA Quality, and SOA Management and how the three concepts are closely connected and at the core of SOA infrastructure. Presented at the SOA India Conference, Bangalore, on November 22, 2007.[hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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Who's Killing SOA?
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is now well past its hype phase, and is fast approaching a critical crossroads. Will enterprises resolve their current architectural challenges, allowing SOA to become the predominant approach to Enterprise Architecture worldwide? Or will it succumb to the pressures of confusion, misdirection, and ignorance that assail it, and become a tired label that signifies little more than a set of product features? We’ve seen this sad conclusion before with Enterprise Application Integration — once a promising architectural approach, now a euphemism for expensive, inflexible integration middleware. Will SOA suffer the same fate? SOA, fortunately, has not yet gone down this path, although the crossroads that will determine SOA’s future is fast approaching. And yet, the forces that assail SOA are assembling on all sides. It is time for a rallying cry! Let us recognize the threats that SOA faces, in the hopes that shining…

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ZapThink Acquires SOA Leader Linthicum Group, LLC
BALTIMORE–(BUSINESS WIRE)–ZapThink, LLC, the industry’s foremost advisory firm focused on Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) today announces the acquisition of The Linthicum Group, LLC, a well-respected SOA consulting firm, and the addition of David S. Linthicum to ZapThink. ZapThink will expand its intellectual property and team with expertise and resources from the acquisition to provide ZapThink customers with expert SOA advisory, research, and guidance. The announcement was made during Linthicum’s keynote address to the e-Gov Institute’s 7th Enterprise Architecture Conference & Exhibition in Washington, DC. “Dave brings significant market visibility, thought leadership, a deep understanding of enterprise architecture, and proven approaches and methodologies for SOA adoption,” says Ronald Schmelzer, Managing Partner at ZapThink. “We see the addition of David and the Linthicum Group team as strategic to the ZapThink offerings, providing us with the ability to better service our expanding combined client base.” In addition to the Linthicum Group’s well-respected…

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The SOA Marketing Paradox and the Wizard of Oz
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) presents a challenge to software marketing people like none other in recent history. On the one hand, SOA has been the top enterprise software bandwagon to jump on for the last four years or so, but on the other hand, many vendors have struggled to tell the proper SOA story for their products in a way that leads to increased sales and happy customers. The reason SOA presents such a formidable challenge is at once both subtle and obvious. After all, SOA is architecture — it is a set of best practices enterprises follow to organize their IT resources to meet the needs of the business. SOA, however, is not, and never will be, a set of product features. And therein lies the rub. How do you position your product as a SOA product when SOA consists of best practices, not product features? SOA and the…

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