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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)

The Case for Coordinated EDM and SOA Strategies

Strategies for enterprise data management (EDM) and service-oriented architecture (SOA) are often pursued as separate, disparate programs and initiatives within organizations, both as a business requirement as well as an IT implementation perspective. However, there are important overlapping and interdependent components, processes, and quality checkpoints for each in which coordination is necessary to ensure the success of either strategy. Furthermore, by coordinating these strategies, organizations will realize opportunities to optimize: The business value of enterprise data and services (e.g., increased operational efficiencies/quality, increased business services utilization and profitability, and decreased development/maintenance costs) Economies of scale and synergies in key EDM/SOA processes, infrastructure, tools, and roles (e.g., increased organizational ef... (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)

SOA World Cover Story — Are You Being Served?

"A child of five would understand this. Send someone to fetch a child of five." - Groucho Marx  People have begun to understand that a properly implemented SOA has the potential to improve business agility and adaptability to changing business conditions, but we're still suffering from at least one innate prejudice common to IT folks. That prejudice comes, in part, from our own fascination with the technology we use. Perhaps we need to view the goals and challenges that SOA brings with the same simplicity that small children selling lemonade from a box on the sidewalk have for at least children recognize that it's neither the lemonade nor the stand that's the center of their business, but the customer. Changing our natural biases as IT people to conform to this business reality can help us understand what's most important in a SOA and how that SOA needs to evolve t... (more)

Executing an SOA Governance Plan

Over the past several years, there has been much fanfare regarding the promise of SOA. However, as with any IT-related solution, it is not a magic bullet or cure-all for IT integration. In fact, SOA does not solve business process problems, but rather identifies both the good and bad organizational processes. In most instances, SOA will require additional front-loaded costs until a critical mass of services are developed for reuse. It will require organizational and even process changes that will demand high levels of training, funding, and organizational governance. Even with these challenges, adopting an SOA methodology is recommended. Building a successful SOA Governance organization requires the attention to assets and capabilities across all service domains or high-level categories of services. Domains typically can focus on a major entity, e.g., customer or e... (more)

Resolving RIA-SOA Conflict

From the first days of Rich Internet Application (RIA) technology, many enthusiasts found an analogy between RIA and service-oriented architecture (SOA). Some of them talked about the benefits of a would-be-wonderful use of SOA in RIA; others saw RIA as a SOA face. Nonetheless, there are experts who see a discrepancy between RIA and SOA concepts. The major disagreement between RIA and SOA is in the fine-grained operations in RIA and the coarse-grained type of interfaces of SOA business services. Let's take a closer look at this problem. In a glance we can see that the RIA spectrum is wide. It includes applications with interfaces for information reporting, modifying predefined business data, collecting and inserting new data into the systems, fast and frequent exchange of information in social/community-oriented Internet applications, and setting commands in the pr... (more)

Is Vendor-Based SOA Training A Good Idea?

I saw an announcement this morning by WSO2 that they are offering free SOA Training this summer; this triggered my uh-oh senses. I'm sure that WSO2 means well, but I've noticed a trend in my conversations with individuals who have a predominantly been trained by SOA Vendors to focus too heavily on the implementation design factors and focus too little, or not at all, on a top-down approach. To me, this makes perfect sense, because, and I know this is a contentious statement, architecture cannot be taught to the masses. The results of bottom-up engagements, which are labeled as SOA, are faster delivery, increased reuse and lower development costs all good things. However, these solutions are constrained by their limited aperture, which results in too narrow of a focus and misses capturing the necessary domain knowledge in to the architectural model—the key promise of S... (more)

SOA in the Cloud Topic Launched on Ulitzer

SOA in the Cloud topic site launched today on Ulitzer. Introducing “SOA in the Cloud” 4th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo in November will introduce two new and dedicated tracks - “SOA in the Cloud” and “RIAs in the Cloud” - which will examine how service oriented architecture, AJAX, rich internet applications, enterprise mashups, social media and Web 2.0 find their new place in the Cloud. Ulitzer content is grouped in 25 distinct subjects from "Aerospace and Defense" to "Travel and Hospitality." Each subject group offers an unlimited number of topics, and each topic may contain thousands of peer-reviewed feature stories, bylined articles, blog posts, news, reviews, commentary, and unique editorial content authored by top experts in their fields. Ulitzer is designed to replace Wikipedia with Its three-dimensional live content offerings and dynamic topi... (more)

Vordel Connects SOA to the Cloud

We at Vordel released Version 5.2 of our Gateway, which connects to Cloud Services. If you need to connect your systems to SalesForce.com, Amazon S3 or SQS or SimpleDB, or Microsoft or Yahoo! Web Services, with security and without writing code, then this is the product for you. Here's the release: San Diego, CA - July 29, 2009 - Vordel, the XML networking management company, today announced at the Burton Catalyst Conference the general availability of Vordel 5.2, its suite of application networking products. Vordel 5.2 enables enterprises to connect their applications to Cloud services such as Amazon Web Services, SalesForce.com, and Microsoft Azure. Vordel benefits enterprises by resolving the complexity of connecting SOA and Cloud-based services and providing a secure and transparent environment for this process. To successfully transition and adapt to a cloud en... (more)

Cloud Computing Expo 2010 East Will Take Place April 19-21 at Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City

WOODCLIFF LAKE, NJ -- (Marketwire) -- 10/30/09 -- SYS-CON Events announced today that the 5th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo  will take place April 19-20-21, 2010, at the Jacob Javits Convention Center in New York City. The International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo series is the world's leading Cloud-focused event and is held three times a year, in New York, Silicon Valley and in Europe. Over 200 corporate sponsors and 10,000 industry professionals have participated in Cloud Computing Expo since its inception, more than all other Cloud-related events put together. The three-day event will offer a rich array of sessions led by exceptional speakers about the business and technical value of cloud computing with more than 80 sponsors and exhibitors on the 70,000 sq. ft. show floor and over 5,000 estimated delegates from well over 48 different cou... (more)

Richard Marcello, Unisys: Cloud Computing is Going to Change Everything

Open Cloud on Ulitzer "Cloud computing is going to change everything, and you had better get your act together." With these words, Richard Marcello, President of Technology, Consulting and Integration Solutions at Unisys,  launched  the opening keynote to a full house at the 4th International Cloud Computing Expo at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Silicon Valley, CA on the afternoon of Monday, November 2. The theme of his keynote was,  "The Time is Right for Enterprise Cloud Computing." and it was delivered on the day that Unisys announced a new private cloud initiatiive. By Monday evening more than 2,500 delegates arrived at the 4th International Cloud Computing Conference & Expo, which is taking place at the Santa Clara Convention Center, CA. Stressing security, as it has since it first announced it would be a major cloud player in June, Unisys unveiled w... (more)