ServiceTechMag.com > Issue XXVIII: April 2009

Issue XXVIII April 2009

Building Reusable Services

Vijay Narayanan

Vijay Narayanan

The ability to reuse services is one of the principal benefits for adopting SOA in an enterprise. This statement will remain a promise for your development efforts unless some foundational concepts are practiced. This article offers several practices for increasing the likelihood of achieving service reusability including decoupling of transport, message and interface standardization, encapsulating horizontal cross cutting concerns, and validation of service contracts to avoid interoperability issues. There are a host of practices to adopt when designing services that will increase the odds for service reusability. If care isn't taken a service can be coupled to a transport, access mechanism, and distribution channel that will inhibit our ability to reuse it. This article will explore some of the practices that I have used to facilitate reuse of services across projects and initiatives. The golden rule for building reusable services is to not place functionality that is specific to a consumer alongside the core service logic. In addition to this overall guideline, there are several practices that will help foster service reuse. The physical transport over which a service is exposed should be decoupled from the service functionality. This will ensure that the service can be bound to additional transports gracefully and provide flexibility offer transports on an as needed basis. On a related note, design the service's functional contract to be identical across transports. This will make it easier for consumers to switch transports or consume multiple transports for...


What Drives SOA, Business or IT?

Peter Woodhull

Peter Woodhull

Much like the chicken and egg dilemma, in the SOA industry, there is often a debate over which should come first -- business needs or technology needs. That largely depends on the problem you are trying to solve and whether it is a tactical or strategic solution that is desired. Today's businesses are seeking real solutions to real problems and the IT group is tasked with coming up with creative solutions that actually provide value. Users are putting new demands on IT and companies are experiencing a culture shift where IT and business managers need to collaborate in order to effectively implement new solutions. In addition, SOA deployments oftentimes don't move past the initial pilot phase because further IT tools and infrastructure spending required to grow such projects cannot be justified under the umbrella of overall business strategy. If the business wants a point solution to a specific problem then an SOA doesn't make sense. For this type of problem, the IT team should implement a tactical solution, whether it is a point-solution or a home-grown application. This provides the least amount of risk and a clear implementation path. However, if the business needs a solution to help solve problems they have today as well as problems they don't even know they have yet, then SOA is a valid solution and only the business can make that determination. In this case, the business must drive an SOA. One could argue that any organization should stop, take a step back, and figure out what its real problems are first. That should result in a strategic approach which...


A Content Management Migration Framework for SCA

Gregory Green

Gregory Green

Migration tools are typically hampered by issues related to their complexity, slow processing and inability to meet custom migration requirements. In many cases, a large amount of time and effort is spent to create these solutions that are disbanded after completion. "Reuse" - a core principle of service-orientation - is rarely thought of in these efforts although many other migration efforts will need to solve some of the same problems. There is a major need to have a reusable approach that is fast and easy to apply. It should also provide the ability to provide custom functionality for all aspects of migration processing. Customers typically want to create a single repository for all content; thus providing a single point of access, configuration and management. A simplified process that is flexible enough to comply with a wide range of Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) along with legal/regulatory requirements is essential. Migration from older systems to an enterprise content management system may be needed for enhanced document search features, version control, security, life cycle management and workflows. The software that facilitates the migration must be powerful, flexible, fast and accurate. This will reduce the size of the migration staff, shorten the timeframes, minimize errors and ultimately lower the overall migration cost. A key goal of this approach is to provide the ability to migrate any type of source or target system. The approach must supply "out of the box" functionality that will support most of the migration needs. It should also act as a "building block" to fill-in any missing pieces...


SOA Pattern of the Week Series

 

SOA Pattern

The internationally acclaimed book "SOA Design Patterns" has spawned a new article series comprised of original content and insights provided to you courtesy of the authors and contributors of original SOA design patterns catalog and the SOAPatterns.org community site. Each article provides a summarized description (600-800 words) of one pattern with some new insights to complement and build upon the content in the book. The series is expected to continue for 85 weeks, into 2010...


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