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Business-Driven Architect

Brenda Michelson

SOA Archives: The Evolution of SOA, from Integration to Business Scenario Development

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For this post, I'm reaching deep into my archives.  In January 2005, I wrote a freelance piece published by the Patricia Seybold Group entitled The Evolution of SOA, from Integration to Business Scenario Development

Recently, it occurred to me that with rampant SOA hype, artificial boundaries and premature obituaries behind us, we are now on track for what I described almost 5 years ago.  Services and service-oriented techniques are the base for a new era of 'mix and match' business solution delivery.  More specifically, the term I floated was "business scenario development". 

The report introduction:

"Service Oriented Evolution

Topping the list of must-have technology strategies in 2005-2006 is service-oriented architecture (SOA). Services and SOA are an important IT architectural strategy that will change how software is developed, used, and sold.

However, SOA is not new; leading companies have been employing services architectures for years to provide consistent multichannel experiences to their customers, to integrate with partners, and to reap IT efficiencies through reuse.

What is new is what you can do with SOA. We believe the current uses of SOA (integration, adding application functionality, building new service-oriented applications) are merely the first stages of the service-oriented evolution. In the longer term, SOA will be the springboard that propels IT organizations away from traditional application development toward delivering IT instantiations of business scenarios, or business scenario development.

In business scenario development, IT business solutions will be compositions of services, business events, and business processes matching the interactions of your business--with customers, partners, employees, and regulatory agencies--in the support of commerce, collaboration, and information exchange.

While the idea of business scenario development is intriguing, in order to get there, you need to start at the beginning. You need to establish solid service-oriented practices, a deep service catalog, and an extensible SOA environment."

In the report, I share my SOA definitions, an early release of my service classification scheme, some truths about services and SOA, and some service catalog starter tips.  However, the report's central focus is the SOA evolution business scenarios. 

Rather than excerpting the 15-page report, I'm once again focusing on the scenarios, via the report illustrations.  If you'd like to read the corresponding descriptions, the report PDF is here.

Keep in mind the illustration titles -- Now, Next, Future - reflect January 2005.

Using Services to Integrate (click on picture to enlarge)

Using Services to Add Functionality or Build New Applications (click on picture to enlarge)

Combining Services and Events (click on picture to enlarge)

[For more information on the Service and Event tie, see my Event Driven Architecture Overview]


Combining Services and Business Processes (click on picture to enlarge)

Combining Services, Events & Business Processes (click on picture to enlarge)

As the report wraps up, I offer two insights as relevant today as when I first published them in January 2005:

"As demonstrated by our examples, as your service catalog grows, so do the possibilities for your business."

"It is easy to imagine how many of your business scenarios can be achieved by mixing and matching services, events, and business processes. It all starts with SOA--and so should you."

Even though my term "business scenario development" never reached meme status, the underlying ideas are now at the forefront of IT delivery.  Our focus is no longer domain scoped and bounded applications, but rather solutions that match business intent and support business interactions.  The base for resolving these business scenarios is, and will continue to be, services and services architecture.

Brenda Michelson, Principal of Elemental Links, shares her view on architectural strategies, technology trends, business, and relevance.

Brenda Michelson

Brenda Michelson is the principal of Elemental Links an advisory & consulting practice focused on business-technology capabilities that increase business visibility and responsiveness. Follow Brenda on Twitter.


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