Project PointersBy John Moore | Posted 2007-07-19 Email Print
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Moving toward a service-oriented architecture? Consider what these experts have to say.
Define expectations. Establishing a service-oriented architecture can be a complex, multi-year effort. So, up-front planning is essential for getting the job done right, according to Vijay Sonty, chief information officer for Broward County (Fla.) Public Schools. "Management needs to be aware of what it takes to implement and how it is going to impact your organization," he says. Customers working with an integrator should define what a successful implementation will look like. In Broward County's case, the school district sought enhanced integration and simplified access to applications. The vendor partner should commit to that vision from the start, Sonty says.
Educate early, and often. Service-oriented architecture introduces a new way to think about software development. The creation of services calls for developers to break coding into smaller chunks, as opposed to building full-blown applications. "It's a learning-intensive area," says Toby Redshaw, corporate vice president at Motorola. Redshaw advises enterprises to introduce a training curriculum for developers early in the SOA adoption process. In addition to learning the new style, developers should be brought up to speed on the tools to be used, he adds.
Explore vendor options. Building your own services isn't the only way to go, however. Susan Eustis, president of WinterGreen Research, says organizations should consider looking to vendors for reusable services. IBM and other major players in service-oriented architecture make services available to customers, she says. Since the vendor-provided service is shared across a large user base, buyers can "get more commodity pricing for these pieces of code."