Feeds

The policy is...get some

Apps upgrades will need policies, even if you don't want them

Boost IT visibility and business value

Further indications that the coming upgrades of the major business applications such as SAP and Oracle could cause unsuspecting IT managers more problems than they have planned for, first noted here, have come from SOA Software.

Acknowledging that the next round of upgrades will all be enabled to run within - or even run - Service Oriented Architecture environments, the company's executive VP of product strategy, Frank Martinez, observed that IT managers now face a situation where it would no longer be a question of whether they opt for an SOA environment, as they will get it anyway. "The only questions they face now are 'when', and 'how'," he said. "And this can raise issues they have not planned for."

One of the most important issues is the fundamental change SOA can bring in the way IT is exploited in running businesses. Up until the arrival of SOA consumers have had to interact with suppliers' business systems in whatever way demanded by those business systems and the processes they run.

There has always been, therefore, an implicit direct coupling between the two, with any supplier policy automatically impacting the consumers for good or ill.

As Martinez points out, however, SOA infrastructures change this situation significantly. "It is not only possible to completely decouple the consumer and supplier sides of the business but also for the consumer side to start driving the way a company does business," he said. "That means businesses now need separate consumer-side and supplier-side policies and that they need to be decoupled from each other."

Though many users may opt to upgrade their applications suites to obtain other functionality than the SOA capabilities, the fact they are there, available for use by developers, means that business processes may be open to unintentional vulnerabilities simply because no management or process policies are in place. Such policies need to be implementable from the moment any upgraded application suite moves into the production environment.

The real trick then, according to Martinez, is having the ability to manage the necessary mediation between policies when contention occurs. For many businesses this issue will be a new one they have face, and one that cannot be avoided once they upgrade their applications. "Yes, it is a daunting prospect for many of them," he acknowledged. "But the fact that it is daunting is no longer acceptable as an argument."

Policy mediation is only one of four main areas of infrastructure management that users need to address as they drift into the SOA waters, the others being management tools, security and governance.

Martinez suggests that, taken together, this produces the need for very deep end-to-end integration across the infrastructure, deeper than the level of integration currently provided by available standards. "These may not close the loop around applications or process life cycles," he said.

But policy definition and implementation remain two of the most serious issues facing businesses as they plan for application suites upgrades, for they remain something of an unsuspected dark horse in the stable of new technologies those users will be acquiring. The key step for many will not be in implementing policies well.

As Martinez put it: "SOA has tools to manage and implement the most complex policies and mediate between them. But the users now need to understand that they do need the policies in the first place." ®

Build a business case: developing custom apps

More from The Register

next story
KDE releases ice-cream coloured Plasma 5 just in time for summer
Melty but refreshing - popular rival to Mint's Cinnamon's still a work in progress
Leaked Windows Phone 8.1 Update specs tease details of Nokia's next mobes
New screen sizes, dual SIMs, voice over LTE, and more
PEAK LANDFILL: Why tablet gloom is good news for Windows users
Sinofsky's hybrid strategy looks dafter than ever
Fiendishly complex password app extension ships for iOS 8
Just slip it in, won't hurt a bit, 1Password makers urge devs
Mozilla keeps its Beard, hopes anti-gay marriage troubles are now over
Plenty on new CEO's todo list – starting with Firefox's slipping grasp
Apple: We'll unleash OS X Yosemite beta on the MASSES on 24 July
Starting today, regular fanbois will be guinea pigs, it tells Reg
Another day, another Firefox: Version 31 is upon us ALREADY
Web devs, Mozilla really wants you to like this one
prev story

Whitepapers

Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Why and how to choose the right cloud vendor
The benefits of cloud-based storage in your processes. Eliminate onsite, disk-based backup and archiving in favor of cloud-based data protection.
The Essential Guide to IT Transformation
ServiceNow discusses three IT transformations that can help CIO's automate IT services to transform IT and the enterprise.
Maximize storage efficiency across the enterprise
The HP StoreOnce backup solution offers highly flexible, centrally managed, and highly efficient data protection for any enterprise.