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Business Transformation in Action

Joe McKendrick

Why a Data Services Layer Means Better SOA

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Recently, we had a hearty discussion at ebizQ's interactive forum on the subject of SOA projects being hampered by "dirty data."  There was general agreement that data is a challenge that can make or break SOA efforts.

Likewise, SOA itself provides mechanisms that can address many data management issues. Sumeet Vij, AIS Chief SOA Engineer at SAIC, recently posted a piece on the role of a data services layer as a way to facilitate service oriented integration, or SOI.

"With the proper SOA Governance and SOA Management, a Data Services Layer can provide a controlled and safe access mechanism to data stored in heterogeneous data sources. In the recent 2'nd Annual Department of Defense (DoD) SOA Symposium, most speakers professed that the majority of their Service Portfolio was comprised of Data Services, providing access to the data from various sources."

As companies rush to tap the potential of business intelligence and analytics, a data services layer offers that capability.  The data services layer helps BI by, for one, making data accessible, Vij says.

A common standards interface "allows BI tools to retrieve and search data, irrespective of the data source type -- relational, flat file, mainframe etc. -- using industry standard protocols." The data services layer also helps mediate data, abstract data, and "increase organizational trust in data." This latter benefit is accomplished "as access to data is provided via a reusable, common service interfaces."

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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