Feeds

More on IBM and SOA

Biggest change since client-server

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk

Comment Further to my previous article resulting from IBM’s annual analyst Software Group conference, here are some more thoughts on what IBM was talking about.

One of the things that struck me, and which I am not sure that I have seen discussed anywhere, is that an SOA (service oriented architecture) solution is topologically equivalent to the earlier hub-and-spoke architecture employed by EAI (enterprise application integration) vendors such as Tibco, Sun (SeeBeyond) and WebMethods.

In SOA, all the services connect to an ESB (enterprise service bus) whereas in the traditional EAI environment all applications connect to the hub. So the hub equates to the bus and, indeed, the EAI vendors all support the use of ESBs nowadays as well as the more traditional hub-and-spoke approach.

So, what is the difference between SOA and hub-and-spoke? Simply, that the connections are much more easily defined because they make use of common standards (SOAP, WSDL and the like – not to mention the putative standards just announced by IBM and others for a service component architecture and service data objects) rather than having to be individually crafted for each connecting application. Actually, this is a lie. Standards are enablers not causes. Standards make it more viable for suppliers to develop tools that can automate the development of, in this case, web services.

That’s not the only difference. In traditional EAI what you were doing was connecting applications. With SOA the connectivity is performed at a much more granular level, typically at the level of business processes. This reflects another emphasis at the conference – on business process management as a fundamental element within SOA – if you don’t understand your business processes, how can you determine what you want to service enable?

The importance of business processes to SOA has a further corollary: that SOA therefore predicates business and organisational change. Moreover, IBM’s view is that the move to SOA has to be business-driven rather than IT-driven. The company’s view is that the user needs to select, at least initially, a project that can demonstrate clear business benefit. Once this has been successfully implemented and the benefits proven, then the business can go on to consider broadening the application of SOA in an incremental manner.

Going beyond this, IBM’s view (which seems entirely reasonable) is that if you don’t take this approach then you are likely to fail, either because the IT-driven initial project will not demonstrate any value or because you have taken on more than you can chew.

However, the over-riding impression left by this conference was how big SOA is. I don’t mean that in terms of hype (though that is also true) but about how many aspects of IT it touches. In this article I have not even mentioned the governance of SOA (both in development and deployment) or the monitoring of the environment (using Tivoli) and the composite applications you have created, for example, but these are equally as important to a successful SOA implementation as web services or SOAP. Ultimately, SOA touches the entire software infrastructure of the enterprise. IBM describes SOA as the biggest change to the industry since client/server: I am inclined to agree.

Copyright © 2005, IT-Analysis.com

Internet Security Threat Report 2014

More from The Register

next story
Microsoft on the Threshold of a new name for Windows next week
Rebranded OS reportedly set to be flung open by Redmond
Business is back, baby! Hasta la VISTA, Win 8... Oh, yeah, Windows 9
Forget touchscreen millennials, Microsoft goes for mouse crowd
Apple: SO sorry for the iOS 8.0.1 UPDATE BUNGLE HORROR
Apple kills 'upgrade'. Hey, Microsoft. You sure you want to be like these guys?
SMASH the Bash bug! Apple and Red Hat scramble for patch batches
'Applying multiple security updates is extremely difficult'
ARM gives Internet of Things a piece of its mind – the Cortex-M7
32-bit core packs some DSP for VIP IoT CPU LOL
Lotus Notes inventor Ozzie invents app to talk to people on your phone
Imagine that. Startup floats with voice collab app for Win iPhone
prev story

Whitepapers

Providing a secure and efficient Helpdesk
A single remote control platform for user support is be key to providing an efficient helpdesk. Retain full control over the way in which screen and keystroke data is transmitted.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.
Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.