ServiceTechMag.com > Issue XXII: September 2008

Issue XXII September 2008

Demystifying Data Federation for SOA

Dain Hansen

Dain Hansen

This article will unravel the mystery surrounding data federation. What are the essential requirements for a data federation solution? How is data federation considered a stepping stone to a successful SOA? Why are both data quality and data profiling so critical in bringing about manageable data services? What's the impact of these emerging federation techniques on data warehousing and business intelligence applications? This article will answer these questions through industry data, architectural patterns in data integration, and compelling case studies that illustrate the importance of embracing data federation. In the struggle for information agility – take one part SOA and add it to two parts data, the result is the formidable and extremely popular data services. But what is it beyond the hype? Data services help transform data sources into reusable data components for the purposes of better accessing, aggregating and of managing data. Our SOA founding forefathers taught us that service-oriented architectures tend to be much more agile than their constrained EAI contemporaries. This is also the way we need to consider our data architectures. There are a number of reasons that an organization might undertake a data-services implementation. • Data is everywhere. The rate at which data grows in organizations is on the rise as is its critical importance for turning data into useful information...


The Economics of Service-Orientation:
Leveraging the Emerging Services Marketplace

Enrique Castro-Leon

Enrique Castro-Leon

One of the primary goals of service-orientation is to attain a structural cost reduction in the delivery of IT services through reuse and standardization. The transition from a traditional system to a service-oriented system requires breaking monolithic applications into standard services, often with Web front ends to facilitate reuse not only within, but also "without." In keeping with this approach, many services can become outsourced, which in turn may lead to lower operating costs but at the expense of downsizing. In this article we will explore structural economic changes brought upon by service-orientation and we will highlight how the emerging services marketplace will make SOA in general more accessible to small-to-medium sized organizations. Most IT organizations today are under enormous pressure to keep their budgets in check. While costs associated with maintaining legacy environments go up, budgets are often flat or even decreasing (Figure 1). The restructuring brought about by the concept of services and reuse at the service level promises long lasting relief from the cost treadmill. In a certain sense, service-orientation does not really bring new capabilities, yet it has the potential to bring about profound changes. From an economic perspective, for example, service-orientation can radically reduce the cost to developing new solutions. We illustrate some of...


Service-Orientation and Systems of Record:
The Northwest Customer Support Example

Larry Guger

Larry Guger

Service-orientation makes information systems more flexible as well as more agile. Information technology systems can be integrated better and code that was written once for one system can be leveraged by IT departments for other systems. These are the key goals of using a service -oriented approach to systems design. This paper is in part a retrospective and in part a direction recommendation of, and for, the service-orientation approaches taken for enterprise systems in general. Lessons learned and new approaches will be discussed as well as the specific needs that arise when dealing with systems of record and data submitted to those systems. Examples using customer data will be used throughout. Northwest Customer Support (NCS) is fictional application that forms the basis of the scenarios explored in this article. Northwest Transport, a fictional company that is the transportation division of North American Services, owns a fleet of trucks to transport goods and is heavily reliant on NCS. NCS was developed and designed in a service-oriented manner to enable flexibility and reuse. At the highest architectural level this was achieved by creating a service tier that was independent of the consumer tiers. Services were developed to enable interaction with the backend system in a stateless and scalable manner. This design permits any consumer application to utilize these services. In the eventuality that...


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