The Four Stages of SOA Governance
For several years now, ZapThink has spoken about SOA Governance “in the narrow” vs. SOA governance “in the broad.” SOA governance in the narrow refers to governance of the SOA initiative, and focuses primarily on the Service lifecycle. When vendors try to sell you SOA governance gear, they’re typically talking about SOA governance in the narrow. SOA governance in the broad, in contrast, refers to IT governance in the SOA context. In other words, how will SOA help with IT governance (and by extension, corporate governance) once your SOA initiative is up and running? In both our Licensed ZapThink Architect Boot Camp as well as our newer SOA and Cloud Governance Course, we also point out how governance typically involves human communication-centric activities like architecture reviews, human management, and people deciding to comply with policies. We point out this human context for governance to contrast it to the…

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Preventing the Demise of the IT Department
ZapThink has long championed the role of Information Technology (IT) and the information technologists that turn IT resources into capabilities. However, we are especially champions of the users of IT, notably the business. After all, if it weren’t for business users, there would be little funding and relevance for IT. Yet, we must distinguish between IT and the IT organization within the enterprise. Whereas IT represents the assets business wants to leverage, the IT department serves as an organizational structure by which the IT needs of the business can be met. Simply put, the IT department is a means to an end… or at least it should be. One of the frequently repeated complaints we’ve heard over our past nine years is that the IT department is increasingly non-responsive to changing business needs. Complexity, fragility, unpredictability, and unreliability all conspire to turn even the simplest of business requests for IT…

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ZapThink Announces Major Update to Popular SOA Implementation Roadmap Poster
ZapThink, the industry’s foremost experts, advisers, and educators in the field of Service-Oriented Architecture, is responding to customer demand with today’s publication of the third version of its popular “ZapThink SOA Implementation Roadmap” poster. The company distributed over 100,000 copies of its first two versions of the poster, the first in 2003 and then updated in 2005. The latest version adds cutting-edge thought leadership in SOA, includes detail on architectural artifacts, and expands coverage of SOA Quality, Enterprise Mashups, and more.   Read more at: Emediawire…

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Filling Holes in the SOA Stack with Runtime Governance
ZapThink considers runtime SOA governance a requirement of successful SOA, greatly increasing the chances that the SOA implementation will have business value. Indeed, the lack of adequate runtime SOA governance greatly reduces the chances of success. The ability to create and monitor policies, manage performance, secure the system, and provide self-healing mechanisms means the SOA implementation will provide ongoing value through productivity benefits. However, most SOA stack vendors do not address many of the key requirements of SOA, including solution patterns around runtime SOA goverance. Considering this limitation, it’s important to address these issues with the proper technology, leveraged in the proper way. Thus, the purpose of this paper. [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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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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ZapTake: The Inadequacy of Microsoft's SOA Message
Today, ZapThink sat on a briefing on Microsoft’s SOA messaging, and we’re astounded by the inadequacy, inaccuracy, and tone deafness on their SOA message. Bottom-line: the official message coming from Microsoft about SOA is that SOA is just Web Services-based integration. What is particularly disappointing is that Microsoft has coined their own definition of the term “SOA” in defiance of what is increasingly becoming accepted as the understanding that SOA is an aspect of Enterprise Architecture, not a technology focused on standards-based integration.[hide -2]Download File[/hide][hide +1]Purchase: $299[/hide]…

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Practical SOA: Insurance
Presentations from ZapThink’s Practical SOA for Insurance event on May 16, 2008. Presented as a 232-slide PowerPoint in pdf format (large file). Agenda as follows: Session title Time Details Welcome &SOA Adoption Trends in Insurance 08:30-09:30 Presenter: Jason Bloomberg, ZapThink, LLC What are current, worldwide SOA adoption trends? How is SOA impacting the Insurance industry? As Insurance companies face significant market-shaping challenges, how will IT be able to respond to those challenges through SOA? How can Insurance companies learn from other sectors with regards to SOA adoption? What is a practical SOA roadmap for the Insurance industry? Industry Standards Based SOA: Using Standards to Jump Start SOA Projects 09:30-10:00 Presenter: Frank Neugebauer, Sr. Enterprise Architect, ACORD The ACORD Corporation is embarking on a new way of developing standards that incorporates a model-driven approach based on five facets; business dictionary, component model, service maps, information model, and capability model. Each…

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Leveraging SOA for Agile Business Processes
Enterprises around the world are facing a momentous transformation, as they move away from traditional, inflexible approaches to leveraging information technology (IT) resources to a more agile way that helps to improve business process. This transition from an aggegration-centric view of technology that leads to brittle assemblages of heterogeneous assets to the composition-centric view that positions IT resources as flexible services that the business can compose together to support and manage flexible processes heralds a new era of value to organizations. Underpinning this transition is the move to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), which provides best practices for organizing IT resources to enable organizations to better leverage business change.[hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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How to Define a Business Service
How to define a Business service is a pervasive and critical question that is essential to the success of any Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) initiative. SOA projects can consist of too many moving parts causing confusion on what to use, reuse, or leverage. It then becomes the challenge of the architect to reduce this confusion by identifying the proper best practices for defining Services properly to meet the business goals set out for them. Such practices include a variety of approaches. Architects can define a Service: in the context of business processes in the context of existing assets leveraging the business, information that the Service is expected to send or receive in an iterative fashion that delivers business value and decreases risk. Combined with SOA governance processes that alleviate the challenges with managing too many moving parts, the architect will have the necessary best practices to manage the…

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