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Editor's note: Have you seen the updated agenda for ebizQ's SOA in Action Virtual Conference coming this Oct. 28-29? View the agenda here.

Until now, enterprise adoption of SOA has been more or less driven by business process optimization objectives. Business intelligence (BI) uses have been a secondary objective, if considered at all.

ESBs, the enabling middleware for mediating transactions, have characterized this initial phase of data delivery within a SOA framework. By extending earlier EAI and application server capabilities, ESBs provided applications developers with a rich tool set, while easing learning curves and simplifying adoption.

As data delivery within SOA transitions into its secondary phase, new data virtualization solutions and standards-based approaches that leverage SOA's underlying architectural advantages to meet the data needs for a range of BI requirements are moving to the forefront. This is being accomplished as the data virtualization middleware that queries and federates the larger data sets typically required for BI in an SOA environment has advanced.

The following are a few examples indicative of this trend:

  • Business analysts, faced with new competitive threats, are now able to access essential data from a variety of sources, including the marketing enterprise data warehouse, financial systems, software-as-a-service (SaaS) CRM system, and outside research data providers;
  • Supply chain analysts responding to fluctuating demands can adjust inventory levels when informed by up-to-the-minute supply data from internal and external suppliers across the globe, as well as consolidated demand information from across multiple sales channels; and
  • Plant maintenance teams can recommend intelligent delays of new equipment purchases by comparing failure and repair data across plants.

Technology behind the trend

Three primary components combine to enable the aforementioned standards-compliant data services: XML industry standards, data services and data virtualization middleware.


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