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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA Service-Orients the Service

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The US Department of Defense (DoD) is perhaps the largest and most complex organization in the world, and it's getting into service oriented architecture -- in a big way.

As Dennis Wisnosky chief technical officer of DoD's Business Mission Area puts the scope of this mega-SOA effort in perspective: the DoD manages more than twice the budget of the world's largest corporation, employs more people than the population of a third of the world's countries, provides medical care for as many patients as the largest health management organization, and carries five hundred times the number of inventory items as the world's largest commercial retail operation.

Dennis has been heading up an effort to employ SOA-based practices to unite the DoD's business IT solutions via an infrastructure and standards-based pattern termed the Business Operating Environment (BOE). As a result, many of the projects and interrelated sub-projects that drive these mission areas are fundamentally based on the development of services through SOA and service-orientation with the support of proven principles and patterns.

Dennis notes that "as SOA adoption continues to grow throughout DoD Components, so does the awareness of service-orientation and the necessity for standards, patterns, and principles to be applied appropriately and consistently. In support of these objectives, the BOE remains the driving and guiding force behind the numerous SOA projects that are currently underway in the BMA."

The DoD has a portal dedicated to its SOA effort, including providing specifications, project
descriptions, and other resources pertaining to the on-going SOA.


It will be interesting to see if DISA's NCES initiative will ever see the light of day!

We shall hope. At least they're thinking and focusing on service orientation as way to better operate.

Moe information on the Defense Information Systems Agency's Net-Centric Enterprise Services (NCES) and SOA Foundation can be found here:

Fact is, DISA had the entire SOA Foundation services up and running, but due to lack of understanding of what SOA really is, they decided to not continue down that path. As a direct result, people lost jobs and SOA-F is now behind schedule.

They don't tell you that on their website - Mediation is a prime example. Mediation was to be available in March of 2008; it in fact was available in March 2008 thanks to the dedicated MSP personnel that worked through holidays and weekends to make it happen. DISA then ended the MSP program, and now Mediation will not be available until 2010. NCES has a long way to go before it ever sees the light of day, if they continue to operate under a "shoot from the hip" mentality.

In this blog (formerly known as "SOA in Action"), Joe McKendrick examines how BPM and related business and IT approaches can promote business transformation.

Joe McKendrick

Joe McKendrick is an author and independent analyst who tracks the impact of information technology on management and markets. View more


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