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…

Read More

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…

Read More

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.

Read More

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…

Read More

Network Operations and Application Development: Different Worlds No More
Today’s 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…

Read More

Getting Ready for the Web Services Tipping Point
End-users, vendors, and press alike often ask the question, “So, when are we finally going to see widespread adoption of Web Services and SOAs?” The answer to this question is that Web Services are a great example of a distributed technology, and distributed technologies exhibit the network effect. The network effect states that the adoption rate of the network increases in proportion to its utility. In other words, as more resources are connected to the network, there is greater desire to connect additional systems to consume those resources, providing an increased motivation to add additional resources to the network. In the beginning, the growth of any network is small, because only visionary parts of the organization are willing to utilize such new technology. But at some point, the growth of the network reaches a tipping point where the deployment and use of the technology explodes, to be abated only…

Read More

Radically Transforming Your Business through Embedded Services
Invention and innovation are very different things. An invention is a new technology, concept, or process that improves upon previous technologies, whereas an innovation is the application of that invention to radically change the way things are done. In practice, innovation often lags behind invention, what ZapThink calls a “horseless carriage” mentality in which people tend to think of new technologies in the same way that they have applied older technologies. After all, it’s hard to conceive of new ways of doing things when the old way has become so familiar. Just as with the automobile, which underwent several years of innovation before it moved beyond being a carriage without the horse, Web Services and Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) are now entering a period of innovation. And as with the automobile, which transformed our cities, our lives, and our landscape, SOAs promise to transform business. The problem, however, is that…

Read More

EA Summit: ZapThink Roadmap for SOA Adoption
Companies seeking to implement IT infrastructures that enable business agility have found that service-oriented architectures (SOA) based on Web services provide a cost-effective approach. This workshop provides companies of all sizes and industries with a detailed plan for SOA adoption, including the steps and phases by which companies can move from today’s brittle infrastructures to loosely-coupled asynchronous applications and systems. The session 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, grid computing, and more. [hide -1]Download File[/hide][hide +0]Register to Access this Document[/hide]…

Read More

How to Think Loosely Coupled
Now that Service-Oriented Architectures (SOAs) have found their way into the hype machines of end-users, vendors, and press alike, it’s worthwhile to examine whether or not corporate developers and enterprise architects are really getting and implementing the core concepts of SOA, or are simply “putting lipstick on the pig” — adding talk of SOA to their discussions without really understanding it While it is certainly the case that a number of notable companies are implementing truly loosely coupled, coarse-grained Services that solve the integration and reusability problems of yesteryear, it is also the case that many vendors and developers have simply not learned how different SOAs are from other traditional forms of distributed computing. In particular, it seems that despite the capabilities of Web Services-based SOAs, many developers have yet to figure out how to achieve loose coupling. In this ZapFlash, we’ll point out a couple of common misunderstandings developers,…

Read More

Understanding Service-Oriented Architectures
Integration is not about simply plugging two systems or organizations into each other. The vision of “plug and play” application and system integration is a pipe dream that may be appropriate for in the distant future, but right now enterprises face the more immediate challenge of connecting arbitrary systems in a manner that is cost effective, manageable, efficient and secure. Ron Schmelzer, senior analyst, ZapThink, gives you soup-to-nuts expertise for Web services and the Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA), as they represent an approach for integrating systems using an abstracted methodology called Service-Oriented Integration (SOI). Discover how Web services is becoming a key element to simplify and enable integration between legacy, heterogeneous and disparate systems. Key questions answered: Are Web Services and SOAs something new, or just another take on the distributed-system/CORBA/DCOM paradigm? Why do we need them, and…

Read More