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Case Study: Change Management Made Easy with HP. Learn how HP provided a smooth transition for the IT challenges at Fleetwood when they made the effort to implement new technology upgrades.

ANALYSIS

Migrating to a Service-Oriented Architecture, Part 2


Continued from Page 3

Benefits of Deploying a Service-Oriented Architecture

A SOA can be evolved based on existing system investments rather than requiring a full-scale system rewrite. Organizations that focus their development effort around the creation of services, using existing technologies, combined with the component-based approach to software development, will realize several benefits:

  • Leverage Existing Assets – This is the first, and most important, of the requirements. A business service can be constructed as an aggregation of existing components, using a suitable SOA framework and made available to the enterprise. Using this new service only requires knowing its interface and name. The service’s internals are hidden from the outside world, as well as the complexities of the data flow through the components that make up the service. This component anonymity lets organizations leverage current investments, building services from a conglomeration of components built on different machines, running different operating systems, and developed in different programming languages. Legacy systems can be encapsulated and accessed via Web service interfaces.

  • Infrastructure, a Commodity – Infrastructure development and deployment will become more consistent across all the different enterprise applications. Existing components, newly-developed components, and components purchased from vendors can be consolidated within a well-defined SOA framework. Such an aggregation of components will be deployed as services on the existing infrastructure, resulting in the underlying infrastructure beginning to be considered more as a commodity element.

  • Faster Time-to-market – Organizational Web services libraries will become the core asset for organizations adapting the SOA framework. Building and deploying services with these Web services libraries will reduce the time-to-market dramatically, as new initiatives reuse existing services and components, thus reducing design, development, testing, and deployment time.

  • Reduced Cost – As business demands evolve and new requirements are introduced, the cost of enhancing and creating new services by adapting the SOA framework and the services library, for both existing and new applications, is greatly reduced. The learning curve for the development team is reduced as well, as they might already be familiar with the existing components.

  • Risk Mitigation – Reusing existing components reduces the risk of introducing new failures into the process of enhancing or creating new business services. As mentioned earlier, there is a reduced risk in the maintenance and management of the infrastructure supporting the services, as well.

  • Continuous Business Process Improvement – A SOA allows a clear representation of process flows identified by the order of the components used in a particular business service. This provides the business users with an ideal environment for monitoring business operations. Process modeling is reflected in the business service. Process manipulation is achieved by reorganizing the pieces in a pattern (components that constitute a business service). This would further allow for changing the process flows while monitoring the effects, and thus facilitates continuous improvement.

  • Process-centric Architecture – The existing architecture models and practices tend to be program-centric. Applications are developed for the programmer’s convenience. Often, process knowledge is spread between components. The application is much like a black box, with no granularity available outside it. Re-use requires copying code, incorporating shared libraries, or inheriting objects. In a process-centric architecture, the application is developed for the process. The process is decomposed into a series of steps, each representing a business service. In effect, each service or component functions as a sub-application. These sub-applications are chained together to create a process flow capable of satisfying the business need. This granularity lets processes leverage and reuse each sub-application throughout the organization.

Page 5: And Now the Future – New Models, New Requirements

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