Tag Archives: IAAS
Last week we made a significant announcement relating to the availability of our flagship product “PowerCenter” on the Amazon EC2 infrastructure. Why?
The answer lies in the profound advancements that are happening in the area of “cloud infrastructure.” For many years we have talked about running applications “on-premise” and “on-demand.” Companies like Salesforce.com have pioneered the delivery of applications on their own infrastructure and we’ve become very familiar with the concept of software-as-a-service. So where has Amazon come from? (more…)
With so much talk out there about how SOA is being affected by the downturn, a recent article by David Linthicum seems to point in the direction of pragmatic optimism.
In a column entitled Why the Downturn is Good for SOA from a recent issue of SOAWorld Magazine, Dave says that “as budgets contract and SOA teams downsize, you’d think that SOA projects would be all doom and gloom and lacking in productivity. However, the opposite seems to be occurring, at least inside my client base.” This is encouraging coming from an SOA expert, so let’s see what else he had to say.
Before we can have lengthy discussions around whether SOA is dead, or SOA is alive and kicking, I thought that it would serve us all well, including myself, to get to a generally agreed upon definition of what exactly we are talking about – what is Service-Oriented Architecture or SOA?
According to Wikipedia, “service-oriented architecture (SOA) provides methods for systems development and integration where systems group functionality around business processes and package these as interoperable services.”
This sounds like a definition right out of a technical book, while SOA’s biggest claim to fame was based on a more business-like perspective which is its promise of agility achieved through the alignment of business and IT. Let’s see if we can dig up some real-world observations around the current state of SOA.
In the post “SOA’s Last Mile Part III: How to Address SOA’s Hidden Data-Centric Pitfalls Effectively,” David Lyle spoke about some high-level approaches to handling the data-centric pitfalls in an SOA.
I would like to introduce you to the solution…what I call data services, a flexible and cost-effective technology that can be the cornerstone of an SOA and EIM strategy by simplifying the complexity of both integrating diverse enterprise data that exists in individual silos as well as delivering a single, accurate and consistent view of all enterprise information, at the speed of business.
In one of my earlier posts I discussed the need for a sophisticated data services-driven technology serving as the foundation for SOA and BPM.
“Data and processes are intertwined. It will fundamentally change the way organizations think about your roles, and your roles are going to need to evolve”.
At this year’s Data Management Association (DAMA) International Symposium,
Michael is quoted saying that:
“In this world there’s a very loosely coupled user interface from the assembled services that in turn share access to data. SOA exposes data issues to more people, places and processes, and what I tell companies is that without a focus on information management and meta data management they’re going to fail.”
It is in speaking to numerous customers, prospects and technologists that I had gathered that without accurate, consistent and timely information, SOA and BPM deployments will face serious information-centric hurdles, affecting the cost-effectiveness and success of the project. As we move towards more agile architectures, I believe that we need to grow typical process-centric approaches to include information centricity as well.
As Michael states:
“Where we are going is beyond the first generation of BPM and SOA [that is process-centric],” he said, “to the next generation of SOA that is information-centric.”
Observe that the key word here is “information-centric.” Reading such statements from Michael and many others definitely validates the strategy I have been defining for building out an effective IT infrastructure that can benefit from the flexibility of a services and process-driven approach, in the data integration layer. Simply wrapping data access with a web service does not qualify as a sophisticated data service and hence, stringing together such simple services with a BPM tool also does not guarantee agility.
As discussed in Services to Orient your Enterprise Data Layer, Joe McKendrick is of the opinion that neither SOA nor enterprise-application integration alone can effectively handle the enterprise data layer. However, data services delivered within an SOA framework can create a data-abstraction layer to address the complexities seen across enterprise data environments.
I have always said that without serving up good quality, consistent and timely information as a data service or a comprehensive data service built using a sophisticated data integration platform, SOA and BPM deployments will not be able to deliver on their promise of agility.
What are your experiences? What kind of information-centric issues have you run into in your service-oriented deployments? Is inaccurate, stale and inconsistent information passing through your IT infrastructure holding you back?