Category Archives: Service Orientation

Service Orientation

Book review: Do more with SOA integration

Book cover: Do more with SOA IntegrationRecently I read Do more with SOA integration that was published December 2011. This book is a mash-up of eight earlier published works from Packt, including Service Oriented Architecture: An Integration Blueprint, Oracle SOA Suite Developer’s Guide, WS-BPEL 2.0 for SOA Composite Applications with Oracle SOA Suite 11g, and SOA governance. More details on this title:

Target audience according to the publisher:

If you are a SOA architect or consultant who wants to extend your knowledge of SOA integration with the help of a wide variety of Packt books, particularly covering Oracle tools and products, then “Do more with SOA Integration: Best of Packt” is for you. You should have a good grasp of Service Oriented Architecture, but not necessarily of integration principles. Knowledge of vendor-specific tools would be an advantage but is not essential.

My thoughts

My assumption is that most people won’t read the around 700 pages of this book cover to cover. In my view it is a good reference book to get a solid introduction to SOA and integration in general.

To deepen you knowledge on real world scenario’s there a good examples eg given in the chapters on Extending enterprise application integration and Service oriented ERP integration. The first gives an example of of BPEL orchestrating various web service exposed on ERP systems (SAP, Siebel) using EAI (TIBCO, webMethods). This sample includes an example of centralized error handling. The latter shows an integration of PeolpleSoft CRM 8.9 and Oracle Applications 11g using BPEL 10g. The ideas and mechanismes of the integration will also hold in the 11g version.

Chapter 14 on SOA Integration a Scenario in detail, offers another example on how to use Oracle SOA technology (10g again) to integrate legacy systems into a more modern application landscape. It does a thorough job.

The chapter on Base Technologies has parts that are based on the Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint. Beside that it offers a good introduction on transactions, JCA, SCA and SDO. Their fundamentals are well explained without getting too technical. So should you be looking for coding examples on these topics, there are other great sources.

When reading about XML for integration I noticed that it answers questions we get from our customers on a regular basis like: How to design XSDs – XML Schema Definitions. Questions on when to use a type or an Element, chose targetNamespace or XMLSchema as the default namespace, the number of namespaces to use. These are all well adressed in the book.

Where on the other hand a complete view on the following statement could fill at least a whitepaper:

Adopt and develop design techniques, naming conventions, and other best practices similar to those used in object-oriented modelling to address the issues of reuse, modularization, and extensibility. Some of the common design techniques are discussed in the later sections.

The chapter on loose coupling offers an example of how to achieve this using the Oracle Service Bus. It is hard to overrate the importance of loose coupling since a lot of both the technical and the business advantage rely on whether or not this loose coupling is achieved.

Bottomline

As a reference this is a good starting point to learn about SOA and integration in general. It could be more consistent on some details and with the great BPEL and BPM tooling these days I wouldn’t implement processes in an ESB. Of course there is a good chapter (12) with an eaxmple of using both BPM and BPEL. As mentioned before it has some great illustrative examples of real world scenarios. The bottom line is that I would recommend this book to people looking for a reference on SOA and integration.

Cons:
Some text seems a little dated.

Pros:
Good description of SOA and integration in general; practical ; solid introduction on the XML stuff, transactions, JCA and SCA; nice real world integration examples.

Additional reviews

If you’re interested in other reviews on this book, visit the ADF Code Corner blog by Frank Nimphius, AMIS blog by Lucas Jellema, or this SOA / BPM on Fusion Middleware blog by Niall Commiskey.

Lean, agile and SOA reading list of 2011

Since this blog is also dedicated to sharing resources that are valueable to me I decided to share my reading list of 2011 with you.

Lean Integration: An Integration Factory Approach to Business Agility


A great best practices book on integration. The first part provides description of the business value of Lean. It introduces the core concepts. As a manager that doesn’t need all the details you could just read this part and you can get a good grasp of the ideas presented.

The second part translates the lean principles from the world of manufacturing to the world of systems integration. It has great case studies that shows the principles applied in a real world context.

Part three of the book provides a “how to” guide. This can be used as a reference and as such is a great desk-top reference manual. This book is great and a must read for all technology and business practitioners and innovators.

Web Service Contract Design and Versioning for SOA

Great reference (not a book that I read front to back) on Web Service Design from Thomas Erl and his co-authors. This book focuses exclusively on the contract part of the service. Due to the depth it is a extensive resource to use besides others. The book is filled with extensive examples on how to meet the goals of SOA properly using contract design.

Via the site of the publisher and on iTunes are additional service design podcasts by the authors of the book. Could be a great resource to start with.

The Back of the Napkin (Expanded Edition): Solving Problems and Selling Ideas with Pictures


This is a great book on problem solving, extremely useful and in a sense thought provoking. It structures problem-solving into a six by five visual codex. This makes sense; you can literally see the evolution of the thought processes and the development of the insights take shape through the pages. Fun read as well.

Gartner Magic Quadrant for SOA Governance Technologies 2011

Magic Quadrant SOA Governance TechnologiesIn October 2011 Gartner published it’s Magic Quadrant for SOA Governance Technologies. Gartners sees the market for SOA governance technologies keeps changing, driven by more comprehensive requirements from end users. The most important change since their previous report in 2009:

Clients today prefer to buy SOA governance solutions that will serve their purpose throughout the whole SOA endeavor, governing services and artifacts through different projects from planning and design all the way to implementation operation and retirement.

The most important change that I see at our customers compared with two year ago is that they more more interested and willing to invest in governance technologies.

What is SOA Governance about

SOA governance technology is about:

  • Tracking and monitoring the artifacts in a SOA
  • Enforcing and ensuring compliance with the policies associated with the artifacts
  • Measuring the outcomes related to their use

Oracle’s SOA governance offering

Oracle’s offering in the Governance technologies market is part of it’s Fusion Middleware product line. It includes the following products (see this this blog):

  • Oracle Enterprise Gateway and Oracle Web Services Manager – Full life cycle policy management
  • Oracle Enterprise Repository
  • Oracle Service Registry
  • Oracle SOA Management Pack

This number of products and the complexity of Oracle’s offering can make it hard to get a good grasp of what product will cater your specific needs. Should you need more insight visit our SOA governance seminar.

SOA and Governance seminar

On December 13th Whitehorses will host a seminar on SOA and Governance. During this seminar we will show the value of a proper architecture and governance for your organization. In the presentation you will get clear guidelines and steps on a pragmatic approach for implementing a manageable SOA solution.

Some of the topics:

  • What is SOA Governance and Why do we need it?
  • SOA reference architecture – The importance of solid standardization.
  • Service life-cycle governance – Design and build the right services and the proper way to reuse them.
  • Service repository – With examples of repositories based on Oracle Enterprise Repository (OER) and a wiki.

rsvp.

Kscope 2011 Solid Service Bus implementations


From now on counting down in days to the upcoming ODTUG Kscope 2011. ODTUG is a user group for for a wide range of technologists working with the Oracle platforms. During this conference I’ll be presenting on solid Service Bus implementations using the Oracle Service Bus, Mediator or both. The full schedule of Kscope is here.

SOA Symposium 2011 Brasilia

SOA Cloud 2011 BrazilLater this month on the 27th and 28th of April the 4th International SOA Symposium and the 3th International Cloud Symposium will be for the first time held in Latin America – Brasilia, Brazil. More info on previous editions can be found on this blog. The 2011 SOA Symposium program consists of:

  • Expert Speaker Sessions
  • 10+ Conference Tracks
  • 4 Expert Panels
  • 4 Keynote Speeches

Given the location simultaneous translation (English-Portuguese-English) will be available in all technical sessions. For the complete agenda or resources from previous conference, check the site. Videos from the 2010 edition of the SOA Symposium can be found on InfoQ.

SOA Symposium 2011 Call For Presentations

On April 27 and 28 2011 the worlds largest SOA and Cloud Computing event will be held in Brasilia, Brazil. The International SOA and Cloud Symposium brings together lessons learned and emerging topics from SOA and Cloud projects, practitioners and experts.

There is a Call for Presentations:

The SOA and Cloud Symposium 2011 program committees invite submissions on all topics related to SOA and Cloud, including but not limited to those listed in the preceding track descriptions. While contributions from consultants and vendors are appreciated, product demonstrations or vendor showcases will not be accepted. All contributions must be accompanied with a biography that describes the SOA or Cloud Computing related experience of the presenter(s).

All submissions must be received no later than February 15, 2011. An overview of the tracks:

  • SOA Architecture & Design
  • SOA & BPM
  • Real World SOA Case Studies
  • SOA & Cloud Security
  • Real World Cloud Computing Case Studies
  • REST & Service-Orientation
  • BPM, BPMN & Service-Orientation
  • Business of SOA
  • SOA & Cloud: Infrastructure & Architecture
  • Business of Cloud Computing

You might be interested in previous post on the SOA Symposium or the 2010 presentations.

InfoQ videos: Using a Service Bus to Connect the Supply Chain

The session I presented at the SOA Symposium 2010 is now available online via InfoQ. You can find it as a Service Bus case study. It is introduced as:

a case study of using a service bus in a supply channel connecting a wholesale supplier with hundreds of retailers, the overall context and challenges faced – including the integration of POS software coming from different software providers-, the solution chosen and its implementation, how it worked out and the lessons learned along the way.

Watch the video, download the mp3 or sheets.

SOA Symposium 2010 videos available via InfoQ

This year, in partnership with InfoQ.com (the largest community site for technical architects), 1/4th of the SOA Symposium sessions was filmed and will be published on InfoQ. From early November InfoQ has started publishing these videos. At the time of writing the following videos are available:

Cloudy SOA

This session on Cloudy SOA by Mark Little covers:

an introduction to cloud computing pointing to the fact that the middleware needs of the cloud are similar to SOA’s, showing some of the benefits of running SOA along with the cloud, asking if cloud computing and SOA should evolve together and giving some future directions to consider.

BPM Top Seven Architectural Topics in 2010

Hanjo Normann’s session presenting the BPM Top Seven Architectural Topics in 2010 covers:

how to design a BPM/SOA solution including: modeling human interaction, improving BPM models, orchestrating composed services, central task management, new approaches for business-IT alignment, solutions for non-deterministic processes, and choreography.

Resurrecting SOA

Anne Thomas Manes in her Resurrecting SOA session goes into details on why she:

believes organizations need SOA more than before, but using a redefined SOA based on the SOA Manifesto, focusing on models, methodologies and patterns, not on technology, intended to produce the desired business and technical goals.

For a complete overview of SOA Symposium sessions on InfoQ check their SOA Symposium page.