Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA Roundup: SOA on the 'loose,' data dumps, play ball

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This week, ebizQ colleague Peter Schooff spoke with ZapThink's Jason Bloomberg about the whole "SOA is Dead" issue and the need for architecture. Jason notes that "there's a lot of misunderstanding about SOA and there's this misconception that SOA is something that you buy from a vendor, you install its software and that's just not true so that all straw man for SOA is dead. But the SOA best practices, its architecture best practices are alive and well and that's really the point [Anne Thomas Manes] was making." Jason urges organizations to re-evaluate their SOA efforts and pursue architectural best practices. He adds that the challenge is that "SOA really is a rather loose collection of best practices.... it's really more about leveraging the right approach given the problem that you have."

In a two-part series this past week, Michael Poulin expounded on the role of "business architecture," which he defines as "a set of artifacts, such as business functionality (services, functions, features and crucial processes), people, resources (including instruments and tools), and products as well as inter-dependencies and interactions between them within particular business execution contexts."

Thus, Michael concludes, "business architecture is about the essence of the business," an the challenge for many organizations is to understand the evolving convergence between business architecture and enterprise architecture, which all too often gets associated with IT. Michael's posts are here and here.

Vijay Narayanan looked at an increasingly important aspect of SOA -- data services, and provides some tips for building these services. For example, he writes, "avoid placing complex business logic within a data service. If you start to overburden the service with logic you can impact its composability and reusability."

Dave Linthicum also dove deeper into his argument that a lack of focus on data is killing SOA, noting that SOA architects typically don't deal with the ability to move large amounts of data from point A to point B, the ability to abstract data away from poorly designed databases that the company may or may not own," or "the ability to manage data, and deal with MDM and data quality issues."

Brenda Michelson also looked at the data side of things, noting that major league baseball teams are increasing adopting the ways of the "datarati." These managers will be turning the huge flow of data coming in from all over the diamond -- including cameras mounted above the field to capture the speed and location of the ball and players for further analysis.

On the news front, Progress Software announced that the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) selected Progress FUSE products to provide the open source integration underpinnings for their System Wide Information Management (SWIM) Program. Metastorm announced the release of Metastorm Integration Manager for Linux System z (zLinux). In the meantime,The Open Group announced that TOGAF Certifications surpassed the 10,000 mark.

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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