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Under the pressure from Windows Azure release in a week, Amazon unveiled today a new AWS SDK for .NET Developers providing .NET developers the libraries, code samples, and documentation needed to build an AWS-powered application using any programming language capable of making .NET calls including C#, Visual Basic, Windows PowerShell, and other compliant languages. .NET developers get a special treatment with a dedicated .NET Forum and a special Windows & .NET Developer Center. The SDK includes: The AWS .NET Library - This library provides a set of developer-friendly APIs that hide much of the low-level plumbing associated with programming for the AWS cloud, including authentication, retries, and error handing. The library supports the Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud, Auto Scaling, Amazon CloudWatch, Elastic Load Balancing, the Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, Amazon Simp... (more)

Perhaps SOA is More Strategy Than Architecture

On Thursday, September 10th, 2009, I moderated a panel at the 1105 Group’s Enterprise Architecture Conference in Washington, DC entitled, “SOA Goes Mainstream – An Industry and Government Roadmap.”  On the panel we had two Federal government agency representatives and two industry representatives, with one of the industry representatives providing a FedEx case study as the basis for their SOA experiences. As expected, each of the panelists’ SOA experiences was varied, with no two taking an identical approach.  However, the interesting tidbit of information I garnered from moderating this panel is that after a couple of years of effort, some approximation of a methodology that is termed “SOA”, which is specific to each organization, emerged and started delivering value to the organization. Granted, I have been one of the louder proponents calling for agreement on t... (more)

RASS, 6fusion Partner to Deliver Apps in the Cloud

Cloud Computing Expo RASS and 6fusion USA, Inc. announced a partnership to co-deliver cloud hosted desktop and server applications on demand.  The joint offering promises to improve existing performance and cost limitations for customers moving away from a traditional on-site application delivery model. RASS features state-of-the-art technology to allow companies of all sizes to serve business applications to remote users.  RASS is delivered from the 6fusion platform, which provides scalable, pay-per-use utility computing resources for customers around the world as a form of cloud computing. “The goal of our partnership is to simplify the delivery of Windows, UNIX, and Linux applications to business users, while dramatically improving their performance over common internet connections,” said RASS CEO Christian Johnston.  According to 6fusion CEO John Cowan, “RASS po... (more)

The Well-Spoken SOA - How Well Is Your SOA Running?

The American comedian and actor Steven Wright once said, "It doesn't make a difference what temperature a room is, it's always room temperature." Words are wonderful that way. They can give you a little blast of pleasure when used cleverly, but like everything else they are subject to fashion. For example, I was speaking at a technical conference recently when I overheard a person whom I know, who is well-respected in this field, say something along these lines: "You have to know how well your SOA is running. Knowing the overall health and responsiveness of your SOA is very important. You've got to get a handle on your governance." The goal was laudable, but the wording was off target. I've heard the word governance fall from people's lips with increasing frequency recently, which is a good thing. Lately though, it seems to me that there has been an unfortunate blu... (more)

Demystifying SOA - Myths About SOA Web Services Architecture

Service-oriented architecture (SOA) refers to an architectural solution that creates an environment in which services, service consumers, and service producers can coexist, and still have no dependence on each other. SOA enables an enterprise to increase the loose coupling and the reuse of frequently used software assets. These software assets, together with the functionality that they provide, are called services in the SOA terminology. By nature, SOAs are complex and are typically applied to solutions with highly volatile requirements. As SOA concepts are increasingly utilized and applied to solve software integration problems, there is confusion as to where SOAs are applicable, where they would yield the best results, and where the use of an SOA would be overkill. There are also misconceptions as to what the benefits of using an SOA are, as well as what the poten... (more)

Bringing SOA to Life: The Art and Science of Service Discovery and Design

In a service-oriented architecture (SOA), a service is a unit of work performed by a service provider to achieve desired results for one or more service consumers. A service provides a function that is well defined, self-contained (for example, loosely coupled to its environment), described solely by its interface contract and behavioral attributes (for example, it hides implementation), and located anywhere on the network. Essential components of an SOA - such as a service provider, service repository, service mediator, and service consumers - all rely on service definitions as the key element to describe, access, transport, and understand services. Modern SOA as a pattern for transforming enterprise architecture is still emerging, as are the strategies for service discovery and design. At this juncture of SOA's maturation, it's highly useful to consider concepts a... (more)

Building Blocks of SOA Governance

SOA initiatives have gathered momentum in the past year with more enterprises either implementing SOA or considering implementing in the near future. The implementations we studied reveal that one of the critical challenges in SOA is designing an effective governance mechanism. A good understanding of governance concepts is essential to implementing and operating a successful SOA. Reliable governance for SOA leads to a manifold increase in an enterprise's ability to achieve the goal of business agility through SOA. Defining IT Governance The IT Governance Institute defines IT governance as "a structure of relationships and processes to control the enterprise in order to achieve the enterprise's goals by adding value while balancing risk versus return over IT and its processes." Another definition by Peter Weill describes IT governance as "specifying the framework for... (more)

SOA Web Services Journal: Save Our Architecture

As I look upon the enterprise landscape today, I cannot help but wonder if the enterprises are going to be all right. Every couple of years, enterprises have to face the onslaught of their vendors who bring in newly coined phrases, acronyms, and newly minted software platforms, along with the promise of ROI. In the latest onslaught, enterprises are facing terms such as SOA, Web services, BPM, and BAM. The new buzzword is AJAX, or Asynchronous JavaScript And XML. The speed at which the IT industry coins terms and makes it fashionable to use them gives the cool name creators in the fashion and entertainment industries a run for their money. System integrators and consultants capitalize on the confusion and introduce new solutions and services that range from architecture blueprinting to specific product implementations. Enterprises turn to industry analysts to unders... (more)

The Art of SOA - More Than Optimal Is Ineffective

Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) refers to an architectural solution that creates an environment in which services, service consumers, and service producers co-exist yet have no dependence on each other. SOA enables an enterprise to increase the loose coupling and the reuse of frequently used software assets. These software assets together with the functionality that they provide are called services in SOA terminology. By nature SOAs are typically applied to solutions with highly volatile requirements. In this article the emphasis will be on how to apply service orientation to solve a problem at the enterprise level and how to decide how much service orientation is "optimal." The word optimal means the point of maximum pay-off for the investment specified and implies that once that optimal point is crossed either the return on investment tends to drop or the retur... (more)

A Classification Scheme for Defining SOA

Since its inception, the term “Service-Oriented Architecture” - SOA - has confused and befuddled the masses. Those that believe they are doing SOA are sometimes told they are not, but their critics are unable to point to clear reasoning for their comment. Some believe that you can buy a toolkit for SOA, while others say that is nonsense; just an abuse of the term for marketing purposes by vendors. Clearly, the word architecture is an explicit part of the term, yet it is discussed in lock-step with technological implementation strategy and efforts. Most importantly, many definitions of SOA exist without clear adoption of one over all others. Needless to say, the one thing we can all agree on is that there is confusion surrounding SOA. One of the most problematic factors in providing clarity around SOA is that all definitions proposed seem to be expressed in the narr... (more)

What's the Best Definition of SOA?

It seems that I am not as flexible as I believed I could be on my thinking regarding SOA. I attempted to categorize various SOA engagements in my SOA World Magazine article entitled “A Classification Scheme for Defining SOA”. I believed that I could hide my dissatisfaction with the lack of clarity surrounding SOA by lumping SODA/application development into its own subcategory. I was wrong! When it comes down to it, there's still just too much ambiguity surrounding the term service. So, you might ask, “What is the big deal if we call everything running on a computer a service?” The answer is that not all services are created equally and there's no way to determine the type or extent of services when a single term is used as a catch-all. For me, SOA is defined precisely as follows: Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) is an archetype—an architectural pattern —that focus... (more)