Tag 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.

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.

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.

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.

Cloud, SOA and why a CFO should care

Most discussions on Cloud Computing I’ve been reading are focused on the infrastructure and technology part. It offers easy to deploy infrastructures or even applications in a very scalable way. All this in a pay-per-* way. And here is where a CFO should get interested. Moving to a Cloud implies moving from CAPEX to OPEX. Usually a CFO has an idea on how to keep these balanced. The Enterprise Architecture of some organizations even have very strict guidelines on whether certain expenses should the one or the other. So that’s the first one to thing about…

As was stated in a previous blogpost on measuring the business value of SOA, project metrics for business value created by SOA projects, IT projects, or even projects in general are rare. If I were a CFO this would worry me.
Besides that SOA efforts in a way also demand a different way of cost accounting than the traditional silo based. If my organizational unit owned (and had to account for the costs) of a rather popular often reused service, I would like to charge them. Say for example in a pay-per-service-call way. How do the financial systems under the responsibility of the CFO facilitate this?

Of course there will be lots of other stuff on your agenda if you are the CFO. But hey due to the crisis interest rates are low, labor is cheap, as are materials, so why not invest now in the foundation/infrastructure for the future 😉
If you’re a CFO and – by incident – are reading this blogpost please let me know what you think, and add a comment…

SOA Symposium 2010 – Measuring the Business Value of SOA

As Anne Thomas Manes stated in her presentation on Measuring the Business Value of SOA a 2009 Gartner study showed that

  • 36% of SOA projects lack a business justification
  • 1% of all SOA efforts actually measured benefits

From these statistics it doesn’t seem to be a natural thing to do, measuring the business value of SOA. By measuring the business values we mean value in monetary terms – “hard cash”. Think in terms like:

  • Increased revenue
  • Lower costs
  • Better use of assets
  • Solve customer business needs

In order to have a good assessment of these we need a solid baseline measurement. This is where it gets hard. How many organizations actually have baselines like these. So the intricacies of measuring the business value of SOA aren’t necessarily related to SOA! It might very well be an issue for IT or even businesses in general.

What is specific for SOA or any other architecture or maybe project management approach, is to single out SOA as the direct responsible mechanism for the business value created (causality). In other words what part is SOA specific and what is “just” the availability of a new application? SOA has an indirect impact on business outcomes.
As an example of the previous point: In one of the SOA efforts that I have been involved in – that was at least in my opinion successful – the realization of the business case was very clear: 5 to 10 employees of a department had no longer work to do after 11.00 am. However because we automated a process that wasn’t automated before, it would be very hard for me to point out what part of the savings was actually directly caused by implementing in an SOA context.

This is one of the reasons why I’ve been advising organizations to implement SOA as part of their “normal” projects, or at least projects with a valid business case. Dealing with your project in a SOA way will not only deliver the monetary outcome described in the business case. Applying SOA principles like “Separation of concerns” and “Loose Coupling” will yield in solutions that are modular, interoperable, and shareable.

Program SOA Symposium 2010 available

The agenda for the SOA Symposium 2010 has been posted. Again there are very interesting sessions during this 2 day conference. The largest and most comprehensive in the field of SOA and Cloud Computing. The Real World SOA Case Studies track offers a great opportunity to learn from the experience of others. In this track you will find:

Real-life accounts of successful and failed SOA projects discussed first-hand by those that experienced the project lifecycles and have a story to tell. These veteran practitioners will provide advice and insights regarding challenges, pitfalls, proven practices, and general project information that demonstrates the intricacies of implementing and governing service-oriented solutions in the real world.

I will be presenting the first session in this track on Using a Service Bus to Connect the Supply Chain. If you have any topics or questions in advance that you think I should address, please post them in the comments. Hope to meet you in Berlin.