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 Basic SOA Concepts
Module #2 from the ZapThink Licensed Partner Program training materials. This module covers: SOA shifts the way we think What are Services? Characteristics of Services Service Orientation How to Think Service-Oriented SOA Abstraction Layer Service Orientation Idées Fortes What about Coupling? Service Contracts & Loose Coupling Benefits & Challenges The Challenges with doing SOA right Emerging Best Practices Service Invocation Styles Interoperability vs. Portability Event-Driven Architecture vs. SOA CurrentStateSOAPractice-Europe-022006-ZTP-0212-1…

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Overview of SOA
Module #1 from the Licensed ZapThink Partner Program’s licensed training materials. This module covers: Business Constant: Change The Integration Challenge Integration Approaches of Yesterday SOA: Definition SOA Features SOA: Implication SOA: Benefit Characteristics of SOA SOA: A Technology View The Difference is Web Services Web Services = SOA? Service orientation — the next big thing? The Business Benefits Business Agility SOA Hotspots The ZapThink SOA Roadmap CurrentStateSOAPractice-Europe-022006-ZTP-0212-1…

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ZapThink’s Service-Oriented Architecture Roadmap
ZAPTHINK’S ROADMAP TO SOA ADOPTION Companies today are struggling with the best way to implement IT infrastructures that enable business agility. Service-oriented architectures based on Web Services provide cost-effective approaches to achieving companies’ agility goals. ZapThink’s Roadmap to SOA adoption is a one-of-a-kind, full-color 24×18″ poster that provides organizations of all sizes and types an at-a-glance view at how to approach implementing Service-oriented architectures in a way that provides return-on-investment (ROI) at each step along the path toward agile IT infrastructures. Included on this easy-to-read poster are the steps and phases by which companies can move from today’s brittle infrastructures to loosely-coupled, coarse-grained, asynchronous SOAs. The poster covers concepts in point-to-point Web Services implementations for integration, securing, managing, and adding process layers to these services, implementing registries and management for loose coupling, moving to asynchronous invocations for greater reliability, and concepts in virtualization, contract-first development, SOA governance,…

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Creating Contract and Policy Metadata
One of the first questions that archtiects and developers are posed with when building an SOA is exactly how to build a “Service”. Companies building loosely-coupled Services know that contracts and policies, built in metadata, are key to making SOA work. So, what exactly goes into Service contracts and policies, and what specifications are currently available to meet Service contract needs? This 24 slide presentation outlines some of the key issues in creating and implementing Service contracts as well as the steps companies should take to create them. HowBuildService-082005-ZTP-0184-1…

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What Belongs in a Service Contract?
Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) has finally turned a corner: companies are shifting from the tentative first steps of Service enabling a few systems here and there to strategic SOA rollouts of all sizes that now have the blessing of senior management in the IT departments, and sometimes business executives themselves. In the hundreds of conversations that ZapThink has had in the past year, we have recognized a clear, decisive pattern of organizations moving toward SOA and away from the tightly-coupled, brittle integration approaches of yesterday. We’re no longer getting questions about the “whats” or “whys” of SOA, but rather the “hows” and “whens.” In fact, companies no longer discuss whether or not to embark on an SOA initiative. The eventual move to SOA is fast becoming a fait accompli. In the midst of this decisive move toward SOA, we are now starting to get more difficult, tactical questions about how to…

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Reactivity: Efficiently Mediating Identity in a Heterogeneous, Service-Oriented Environment
As companies move to architectures that enable loosely coupled, composite, Service-oriented interactions between distributed systems, they quickly realize that identity management is essential to making such interactions reliable, predictable, and secure. The only way to build applications that rely on functionality from disparate systems in the enterprise is to separate identity and policy from the underlying systems that have heretofore locked those two capabilities within their own, proprietary environments. However, implementing the sort of federated enterprise identity management capabilities that Service-Oriented Architecture requires is difficult because existing identity and policy information reside in a wide range of systems. Reactivity is one vendor that provides new technologies and approaches for accessing and mediating identity and policy information that companies require. [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

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So, Where are the Architects?
If you’ve been paying attention, one of the things that the movement to the sort of agile IT that Service-oriented architecture (SOA) enables is a new set of roles and responsibilities in the organization. We often blame today’s IT departments and their technology purchases for being responsible for the integration rats’ nests that are the cause of today’s inflexibility, and we frequently chastise the business folks for making expedient, short-sighted decisions that only make the problem worse. So, is there a way out of this puzzle? Is there anyone in the organization that can hope to get the vision of Service Orientation right, or is this all a hopeless struggle? Fortunately, there is hope, and it comes in the form of enterprise architecture. As we’ve frequently discussed, the most critical part of making SOA work is doing architecture well. So, if there’s a need for architecture, then it figures…

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