Spread the Word

By Bob Violino  |  Posted 2007-03-08 Print this article Print

Service-oriented architecture is here to stay. Job one, say the experts, is to learn from past projects so your company can wring the most value from future SOA implementations.

4) Manage Reuse

Because the goal of many SOA projects is to build reusable components or software modules, there needs to be a new governance structure in place to manage those new services, says AMR's Finley.

For example, a company that AMR had discussions with needed to re-deploy new services three or four times before they got to something they could reuse, Finley says. While there are tools for capturing the new services, he emphasizes that process and politics are the most important part of governance.

Just as I.T. governance ensures that technology investments are optimized to serve the business, SOA governance ensures that investments in services are optimized to serve I.T., Finley says.

An SOA governance committee should be responsible for directing and controlling activities such as service design—the definition, identity and creation of service domains; service reuse—designing a common repository of services; service ownership—assigning the creation of a shared service to a group for maintenance and upgrades; service management, reliability and availability—the ongoing management of and responsibility for the service; and service consolidation—the regular review of services and their need to be consolidated as the technologies and applications evolve.

USinternetworking, a subsidiary of AT&T that provides hosting and management services for corporate portals, enterprise applications and Internet retail sites, is looking to adopt a governance structure. It first deployed SOA in 2006 to integrate disparate applications and automate application provisioning throughout its enterprise.

Using several components of Oracle's Fusion Middleware, which provides an SOA architecture and identity management platform, USi developed SOA to integrate and simplify provisioning for internal business applications, including an Ariba procurement application and Oracle's PeopleSoft Enterprise programs. Prior to deploying SOA, provisioning employees for each of the business applications was a manual process requiring several steps to manage.

With the Oracle software, USi wrapped critical components, such as PeopleSoft's customer relationship management application programming interface and some proprietary applications, to expose them as Web services, then created processes linking the Web services to automate the company's provisioning and authentication process and streamline user name log-ons. The result was a reduction in costs to manage provisioning, though the exact amount was not available.

Going forward with its SOA deployment, USi is creating a standardized way to name and manage new services, says Michael Rulf, vice president of advanced engineering. "That allows us to create services a lot more quickly than we expected," he says.

This approach also enables USi to handle security consistently. "Each time a new function was created, it was automatically secured by the wrapper's built-in security function. Error handling was processed in a standardized way as well," Rulf says.

Next page: Measure Results


Submit a Comment

Loading Comments...
eWeek eWeek

Have the latest technology news and resources emailed to you everyday.