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“Imagine if, for a moment, every company had a service-oriented architecture, and one of the services in the architecture was date. The Y2k problem could have been solved in 10 minutes for a few dollars just by changing the date from a two-character field to a four-character field -- and then every application needing a date could have used that.”



So observed ebizQ Vice President for Strategic Services Beth-Gold Bernstein during the ebizQ weinbar Future-Proofing the Enterprise for Business Change, part of the Accelerating Business Change series, sponsored by Magic Software.

While allowing that the Y2k example was perhaps “an oversimplification,” Gold-Bernstein and Magic Software’s iBOLT Project Leader Avigdor Luttinger did detail how to prepare an enterprise to handle future change. The keys? Creating agile and cost-efficient service-oriented enterprises that facilitate quick reactions to changing business conditions, rapid creation of new business processes, and a long-term reduction in maintenance costs.

Minimizing the impact of change and maximizing reuse of current technologies are two basic principles.

“The best practices to minimize the impact of reuse have been known for quite some time, and two very important concepts are loose coupling and tight cohesion,” Gold-Bernstein noted.

“What is different today from the past is we’d use the concept and architecture best practices and then compile the entire application into an executable. Now the coupling is so loose that the different functionalities can be on different platforms using different technologies written in different programming languages,” she explained.

Tight cohesion enables granular levels of functionality that can be flexibly combined into different applications. Keeping them loosely coupled from other services “minimizes the impact of change -- any service can change platform, technologies or rules within the service and still be used by other services in a composite application,” she observed.

All of this “increases the return on IT investments. It enables companies to use what’s there and evolve their service-oriented architectures over time. Adding layers of abstraction enables changes and greatly increases business agility.”

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