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Companies facing the choice of using Business Process Management and/or Web services orchestration to gain the speed and business agility to keep up with rapidly evolving real-time, multiple customer channels are in luck.

During the ebizQ webinar BPM, Web Services, and Composite Applications in the Real-Time Enterprise, part of the Accelerating Business Change series sponsored by Magic Software, two industry experts used Lego block and Swiss Army knife metaphors to show how to build cost-effective composite applications and service-oriented architectures (SOAs).

“Implementing new business solutions inevitably requires connecting to a myriad of existing systems and platforms and managing the flow of information among them,” ebizQ Vice President for Strategic Services Beth-Gold Bernstein pointed out.

“The way customers interact with organizations is changing,” she continued. “There used to be defined end-points: going into a store, a sales person visiting them, during set business hours. Now it could be anytime, day or night, and multiple channels for one transaction: They can order something over the Web and return it to a store.”

The Lego Block Approach

Because of these business changes, “You have to do things faster and you have to enable change more quickly, and this is driving a new development paradigm in composite applications,” Gold-Bernstein observed. “They enable new applications to be built from both new and existing components, kind of like a Lego block paradigm of building applications.”

These components are loosely coupled code components that represent well-defined and self-contained business services. “This is important. Loose coupling is a design criterion that enables agility. It can't depend on the context or state of other services,” she noted.

The business services become part the overall service oriented architecture (SOA). “Service-oriented architectures require well-defined interfaces and this is the evolving role of Web services. Finally, we have a standard interface that everyone's agreed on, enabling service-oriented architectures to take off,” Gold-Bernstein added.

“So many discussions on Web services start with the last part: defining service interfaces. Well, we're going a little deeper here: How do you define what's behind those interfaces?”


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