Posts Tagged ‘SOA’

SOA Usability

18 June 2008

As an organisation we are madly trying to define Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) and get some traction so that it is incorporated into designs more than it is today. At the moment we are trying to build up a wiki site that embodies what SOA means within our organisation so that we capture what we have learnt but also provide somewhere people can discover the process. While reviewing the site I was a bit taken back by the inclusion of Usability and Accessibility as a section. In there I found links to suck things as:

  • User Experience Guide
  • Intranet Colour pallet
  • Terms like ‘Boiling the ocean’ and ‘Mountain out of a mole-hill’ spring to mind looking at this. Yes SOA is a cultural shift as well as a technical shift for an organisation but you need to have a clear defined message that you can lay out so people can follow adding noise to the message just reduces the chance of success.

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    Does My BUS Look Big in This

    11 June 2008

    At the Australian Architecture Forum the Locknote was a presentation on ESB which was presented by Joshua Graham from Thoughtworks, but Joshua was not the original presented of this pack.  On InfoQ they have just posted up a video of Jim Webber and Martin Fowler, who originally presented this deck, at QCon Conference. Joshua did a great job but this is a beautiful presentation that I am sure you will enjoy, so sit back relax and enjoy.

    Australian Archiecture Forum

    19 May 2008

    The Australian Architecture Forum for 2008 focused on SOA: The New Maturity. Being entrenched in my companies SOA program was interested in what I would be hearing. Unfortunately I found that trying to fill eight sessions on relevant SOA content was a little hard. I did find the Round Table sessions interesting in that I was able to hear of other peoples experience with adopting SOA within their organisations.

    The keynote this year was by Ron Todd from IBM on Business Agility which seemed to distil down to adopting a Policy Engine for storage of Business Policies. By capturing the policies in a central engine provides the ability for the business to be responsive to market forces by being able to change these policies quickly. Ron emphasised that a policy is not a rule (aka Rules Engine), a policy seemed to fit somewhere between a Business Rule and a Business Process.

    Phil Haynes from Object Consulting presented a great overview of one of his projects that used Restful services but the adoption of URIs seemed to be the real nugget. He spoke of everything having a URI defined, and by everything he meant requirements, people, tests etc. This approach seemed to enable a decoupled project that delivered several benefits. An interesting benefit was that the business could access a URI that represented a report or a function and mash-up a report.

    Ron Jacobs presented a great overview of his learning’s over the last three (3) months has he has tried to understand REST. He did callout the book RESTful Web Services from O’Reilly as a great resource of information on rest. The presentation was technical but I did get a better understanding of the structure of rest as an architecture style. I think one of my colleagues was truly lost given he doesn’t have a Microsoft background which did sort of raise the question of the suitability of technical detail at a conference like this. I was very surprised that rest does not consider the schema that a resource supports and incorporate a way to discover this schema.

    The Round Table on ‘Your SOA implementation is now a teenager and out of control’ was brilliant we had a great mix of people from different sized organisations that were at different points along the SOA adoption path. The group seemed to have the topics of governance and versioning front of mind with several stories being shared on these topics. Probably as no surprise there is a culture aspect to these topics that means there will always be issues in their adoption.

    I did run into the problem of being in a Round Table session where we only had five people in the session. Due to the topic of cloud computing there wasn’t much experience in the room and subsequently no discussion naturally evolved with limited the value I got from the session.

    As with these sorts of event the ability to network was great, I managed to bump into some old colleagues and make some new contacts. It is great to have a conference focused on Architects in Australia and a big well done must go to Object Consulting for their organisation of this event.

    Ron Jacobs at Australian Architecture Forum

    8 May 2008

    I am off to the Australian Architecture Forum again this year where the theme is SOA : The New Maturity. I just noticed that Ron Jacobs will be presenting there this year. I have enjoyed Ron’s contribution to the architecture community and look forward to his perspective on SOA.

    IBM have SOA covered

    10 November 2007

    I attended the WebSphere Technical Conference a couple of weeks ago where I got to learn a bit about IBM’s view on SOA. SOA is a big thing at IBM and you can see that in the messages that they are pushing out. It is a good thing that there was this focus, as SOA is becoming a major part of my day to day job.

    Several messages were pitched at several levels over the four days and IBM had the product for each one of them:

    Schemas: When embarking on SOA it is important to get the language right. The extension of this is that IBM have taken industry specific schemas and other learning to build up industry packs in the form of their WebSphere Business Services Fabric.

    ESB: IBM have three products that can perform the function of an ESB, they are: WebSphere ESB, WebSphere Message Broker and WebSphere DataPower Integration Appliance. Definitely have a look at the DataPower appliance it is a nice bit of kit. With an ESB there are four main patterns for implementing them:

    1. ESB
    2. ESB Gateway
    3. Brokered
    4. Federated

    The book Enterprise Integration Patterns was mentioned as a great source of information in patterns for ESB.

    The four things that an ESB does are:

    1. Route – messages between endpoints
    2. Convert – between transport protocols
    3. Transform – between message formats
    4. Distribute – business events

    No Business Logic in your ESB: This message came out in several of the presentations not to put business login in the ESB. The ESB presentations were pushing it as good SOA practice. On the other side the WebSphere Process Server presentations were presenting Process Server as being  the place where your business logic goes. The design of your business services was a major point in the Process Server presentation: things like managing short and long running processes and using late binding to allow version management.

    The final thing that really struck me was the integration of the tools within the WebSphere stable. Pretty much all of the products have their tools built on the eclipse platform which seems to provide a degree of integration if only to have the same tools on the same platform.

    Something that came up a few times was service virtualisation which uses a registry to dynamically construct service. In my mind probably not a day 1 thing but keep your eyes open for it in the future. Oh and if you think you might want to do server virtualisation then get you registry in early, IBM has WebSphere Service Registry and Repository.

    My history is Microsoft and I have been to a couple of TechEd events over the years and as a comparison IBM put on a pretty ordinary event. The event was spread over two venues and three locations for presentations, I think everyone at some point had to do a dash from one building to the other to get to the right presentation. This also limited the opportunities for networking because a) you where always in transit b) there was no central place to be.

    At TechEd there always seems to be a mix of Microsoft people and people from outside of Microsoft presenting, at this conference it was 100% IBM presenters, read into that what you will.

    I could go on about other things but lets just say IBM could learn a thing or two. On a positive I definitely got some good technical information that will help me in my job.