Tag Archives: ” “SOA

From the Ashes of SOA: Service-Oriented Integration for the Hybrid App World

Service-Oriented Integration

Service-Oriented Integration for the Hybrid App World

History is full of instances where a new technology or idea seemingly arrives before its time and has difficulty taking hold because the organizational, cultural or technological foundation simply isn’t there to support it. One such infamous case I keep coming back to is the spectacular rise and gradual fall from grace of SOA. It’s been over five years since Ann Thomas Manes put a nail in its coffin with her provocative (and widely interpreted) SOA obituary. Ann’s point was simple: SOA as “an acronym” got in the way. Too much time was devoted to technology debates (e.g., ‘what’s the best ESB?’ or ‘WS-* vs. REST’), and everyone missed the important issue: architecture and services.

SOA was born out of purposeful intent, to solve a specific problem in a particularly novel way: standards-based and interoperable service-based integration driven by the WS-* standardization efforts. It foreshadowed the fragmentation of the monolithic on-premise software providers and pre-dated the rise of a new cloud-centric world – and it arguably arrived too fast for many organizations to take advantage of it on-premise. The constant churn of WS-* specifications didn’t help the cause either.

Some IT shops got bogged down in religious arguments over WS-* vs. REST while others pushed on, bolting on service interfaces to existing application stacks and protocols and building new service infrastructure as an investment for the future. The result, as we all know, was a lot of hype and dashed expectations for some.

Fast forward five years, and the future foreshadowed by SOA is almost a reality. And while SOA (the acronym) may be dead, the need for a service-oriented architecture is very much alive.

We now live in a hybrid world, populated by cloud, social and on-premise applications, and the move to the cloud for business is a fait accompli — or at the least, inevitable. Cloud initiatives are fueling a new type of service-oriented integration – one where, unlike in the past, the approach is no longer strictly defined by protocols but rather by application services and event-based integration.

In this new world, IT no longer controls the architecture of the apps its business users use (or where they execute), and so consumers and providers – cloud apps, on-premise apps and systems – need to interact in loosely-coupled service-oriented ways. This evolution forces new integration realities that had for many been hidden from sight and kept within the domain of application owners.

Eight or nine years ago, when SOA fever was at its height, everyone was running around trying to transform their internal systems and build new and complex infrastructure to meet an incomplete technological imperative.

Today, the landscape has completely changed. The need for ESBs and tightly coupled integrations that expose the innards of your infrastructure no longer apply. Eventually, as applications move to the Cloud, there will no longer be much infrastructure left to expose. Instead, the integrations are and will increasingly be occurring in the cloud, over an open framework, through high-level service-centric APIs.

At Informatica, we’ve taken the lessons and imperatives of SOA – simplicity, data consistency and accessibility and security – and incorporated it into a platform that makes the promise of service-oriented, hybrid, event-driven integration a reality.

We’ve innovated, and now deliver tooling that both enables technically savvy application owners to implement integrations themselves and IT to assist. And we’ve also made it possible for application owners to consume data and business services and processes in an intuitive user interface that abstracts the underlying details of our hybrid integration platform.

The result is an integration platform that empowers application owners. This is what makes what we’re currently doing at Informatica Cloud so particularly exciting, and potentially disruptive.

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Posted in Cloud Computing, Cloud Data Integration | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Avoiding Big Data, and Big Data Integration Confusion

We discussed Big Data and Big Data integration last month, but the rise of Big Data and the systemic use of data integration approaches and technology continues to be a source of confusion.  As with any evolution of technology, assumptions are being made that could get many enterprises into a great deal of trouble as they move to Big Data.

Case in point: The rise of big data gave many people the impression that data integration is not needed when implementing big data technology.  The notion is, if we consolidate all of the data into a single cluster of servers, than the integration is systemic to the solution.  Not the case.

As you may recall, we made many of the same mistakes around the rise of service oriented architecture (SOA).  Don’t let history repeat itself with the rise of cloud computing.  Data integration, if anything, becomes more important as new technology is layered within the enterprise.

Hadoop’s storage approach leverages a distributed file system that maps data wherever it sits in a cluster.  This means that massive amounts of data reside in these clusters, and you can map and remap the data to any number of structures.  Moreover, you’re able to work with both structured and unstructured data.

As covered in a recent Read Write article, the movement to Big Data does indeed come with built-in business value.  “Hadoop, then, allows companies to store data much more cheaply. How much more cheaply? In 2012, Rainstor estimated that running a 75-node, 300TB Hadoop cluster would cost $1.05 million over three years. In 2008, Oracle sold a database with a little over half the storage (168TB) for $2.33 million – and that’s not including operating costs. Throw in the salary of an Oracle admin at around $95,000 per year, and you’re talking an operational cost of $2.62 million over three years – 2.5 times the cost, for just over half of the storage capacity.”

Thus, if these data points are indeed correct, Hadoop clearly enables companies to hold all of their data on a single cluster of servers.  Moreover, this data really has no fixed structure.  “Fixed assumptions don’t need to be made in advance. All data becomes equal and equally available, so business scenarios can be run with raw data at any time as needed, without limitation or assumption.”

While this process may look like data integration to some, the heavy lifting around supplying these clusters with data is always a data integration solution, leveraging the right enabling technology.  Indeed, consider what’s required around the movement to Big Data systems additional stress and you’ll realize why strain is placed upon the data integration solution.  A Big Data strategy that leverages Big Data technology increases, not decreases, the need for a solid data integration strategy and a sound data integration technology solution.

Big Data is a killer application that most enterprises should at least consider.  The business strategic benefits are crystal clear, and the movement around finally being able to see and analyze all of your business data in real time is underway for most of the Global 2000 and the government.  However, you won’t achieve these objectives without a sound approach to data integration, and a solid plan to leverage the right data integration technology.

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Posted in Big Data, Data Integration, SOA, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

ANNOUNCING! The 2012 Data Virtualization Architect-to-Architect & Business Value Program

Today, agility and timely visibility are critical to the business. No wonder CIO.com, states that business intelligence (BI) will be the top technology priority for CIOs in 2012. However, is your data architecture agile enough to handle these exacting demands?

In his blog Top 10 Business Intelligence Predictions For 2012, Boris Evelson of Forrester Research, Inc., states that traditional BI approaches often fall short for the two following reasons (among many others):

  • BI hasn’t fully empowered information workers, who still largely depend on IT
  • BI platforms, tools and applications aren’t agile enough (more…)
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Posted in Big Data, Business/IT Collaboration, CIO, Customer Acquisition & Retention, Customers, Data Integration, Data Integration Platform, Data masking, Data Privacy, Data Quality, Data Services, Data Transformation, Data Warehousing, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Informatica 9.1, Informatica Events, Mainframe, Master Data Management, Mergers and Acquisitions, Operational Efficiency, Profiling, Real-Time, SOA, Vertical | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

What it Takes to Be a Leader in Data Virtualization!

If you haven’t already, I think you should read The Forrester Wave™: Data Virtualization, Q1 2012. For several reasons – one, to truly understand the space, and two, to understand the critical capabilities required to be a solution that solves real data integration problems.

At the very outset, let’s clearly define Data Virtualization. Simply put, Data Virtualization is foundational to Data Integration. It enables fast and direct access to the critical data and reports that the business needs and trusts. It is not to be confused with simple, traditional Data Federation. Instead, think of it as a superset which must complement existing data architectures to support BI agility, MDM and SOA. (more…)

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Posted in Data Integration Platform, Data masking, Data Quality, Data Services, Data Transformation, Data Warehousing, Enterprise Data Management, Financial Services, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Healthcare, Informatica 9.1, Integration Competency Centers, Mainframe, Master Data Management, Mergers and Acquisitions, News & Announcements, Operational Efficiency, Pervasive Data Quality, Profiling, Public Sector, Real-Time, SOA, Telecommunications, Vertical | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Does your Data Virtualization Solution Adapt To (Big) Data Problems

Late last year at a company all-hands meeting, the CEO of a large consumer electronics company had a serious mandate. He needed big results and fast.

“Competition is really heating up and customer churn is on the rise. I need visibility on-demand – a common view of all enterprise data or else we cannot continue to grow.”  IT teams across the enterprise have been scurrying and working furiously to create a common view of CUSTOMER, PRODUCT, SALES, and INVENTORY, but the results have been incomplete, inaccurate and too slow. This is no easy task. (more…)

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Posted in Big Data, Business Impact / Benefits, CIO, Customer Acquisition & Retention, Data Integration, Data Services, Data Warehousing, Informatica 9.1, Real-Time, SOA | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Next-Generation Data Virtualization Series Part 2 – Characteristics

So, where have I been since my last blog? Well, I have been working on our new Architect to Architect webinar series on data virtualization, which is very exciting for me as I get to rub shoulders (virtually speaking) with hundreds of industry architects.

The interactive nature and record attendance at these webinars have made one thing very clear – data virtualization is indeed top of mind. In my last blog we discussed the concept and how data virtualization is different or a superset of traditional data federation, especially as it overcomes many limitations of the latter. Wayne Eckerson did a great job at tracking the evolution of data federation in a recent webinar and blog. (more…)

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Posted in Data Integration Platform, Data Services, Data Warehousing, Enterprise Data Management, Integration Competency Centers, Real-Time, SOA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Data Virtualization Series Part 1 – What is it?

We have all heard of data federation and of late we have also been hearing how simple, traditional data federation often gets passed off as data virtualization. Let’s get back to basics and take a hard look at what the real need is.

Data federation is not a new concept. When it first arrived on the scene many years ago, technologists got excited as it offered a way to quickly access numerous disparate data sources without physically moving data. Years passed and the term kept appearing in research paper after research paper – but what did not happen was the anticipated widespread adoption. TDWI’s Wayne Eckerson does a great job at tracking the evolution of data federation in his recent webinar and blog. Simple, traditional data federation does one thing and only one thing well – it creates a virtual view across heterogeneous data sources, delivering data in real-time, typically to reporting tools and composite applications. In its very simplicity lay its downfall.

(more…)

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Data Integration, Data Integration Platform, Data Quality, Data Services, Data Warehousing, Enterprise Data Management, Integration Competency Centers, Real-Time, SOA, Vertical | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The “Business” Needs Critical Data “Now” – We Need The Next Generation Data Federation Technology “Yesterday!”

There is a lot of talk about using data federation, Enterprise Information Integration (EII) or data virtualization to deliver new data to the business, on-demand. However, do existing approaches cut it?

I have been following the data integration space for many years now, and like many of you, I have wondered about the viability of data federation as a data integration approach. Not because it does not hold promise – it does – it has many advantages as a fast, flexible and low cost approach to integrate multiple and diverse data sources in real-time, without the need for physical data movement.

However, according to the numerous architects that I have had the pleasure of  meeting with on the Informatica 9 World Tour, simple or traditional data federation has not been able to live up to its immense promise. And why is that I asked – the reasons were many…

(more…)

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Posted in Business Impact / Benefits, Data Integration, Data Integration Platform, Data Services, Data Warehousing, Governance, Risk and Compliance, Healthcare, Operational Efficiency, Real-Time, SOA | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment