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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

SOA Roundup: Real SOA, Practical SOA, Eventful SOA, Future SOA

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This past week, ebizQ analysts and commentators provided us a lot of introspective examination of the course of service oriented architecture -- what it is, how to achieve it, what it's becoming, and where it's going.

Brenda Michelson probed into what "real people" are doing with SOA, beyond the excellent case studies she has been providing us since the SOA Consortium and CIO Magazine announced their winners. The best place to start with SOA is occurring on three levels, Brenda points out: "Creating a portfolio of services that represent capabilities offered by, or required of, your organization; composing, or orchestrating, those services along with events, rules and policies, into business processes and solutions that fulfill business scenarios; and proceeding with a business outcome in mind."

Adding to this wealth of knowledge on SOA implementations, Regev Yativ provided some practical tips for successful SOA implementations, which include clearly defining goals, establishing a clear project vision, understanding the nature of SOA and loose coupling, and constantly measuring progress as the program or project progresses. It's very much about the business, Regev says. Be sure to include a business leader on the team, as well, and make sure that the team can speak a common language to help avoid conflicts and misunderstandings."

Event processing is also increasingly becoming part of SOA success stories. ebizQ's Peter Schooff spoke with Gartner's Yefim Natis, a speaker at the upcoming SOA in Action conference, who put event processing into an SOA perspective.

Yefim observes that "business processes in the real world are all event driven. Look back at your own day at how it goes and how you do the work. There are events that are happening around you and you're responding to them. They happen not on schedule and many of them are complex events; that is they involve multiple happenings and multiple changes and you need to respond to them. That's your real world business environment, business process. So when software is able to emulate the fundamentals of the real world business process, the software becomes more intelligent and the software environment becomes more useful, more advanced."

Dion Hinchcliffe -- who likes to stay two or three steps ahead of the market -- provided a thoughtful piece on the future of SOA, and how it can pulled out of its doldrums. Noting that consumption of SOA-based services "is depressingly low," he blames it on the tendency of SOA to focus on the "overengineering of seams and processes instead of removing constraints on the business and increasing ready access to value."

Dion says that the next stage in SOA is the rise of Web Oriented Architecture (WOA), which applies lightweight, Web principles to SOA efforts and enables SOA to respond to change faster, increase consumption of services, and open access to data and applications in a significant way. Dion will also be a speaker at ebizQ's upcoming SOA in Action conference.

The time is drawing near... Be sure to catch ebizQ's upcoming conference, SOA in Action, an informative two-day event (October 28-29), featuring leading experts and practitioners (not to mention yours truly!) discuss strategies and best practices for promoting and deploying SOA throughout the enterprise. Join us for an agenda packed full of sessions and panel discussions on the latest thinking in SOA!

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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