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Sunday, May 08, 2005

Infoworld SOA Forum Highlights

At the InfoWorld SOA Executive Forum, Toby Redshaw, CTO at Motorola kicked off the discussion by saying that with all of its problems, SOAs reminded him most of Churchill's famous observation about governments: "Democracy is the absolute worst form of government except for all the others." Redshaw said he believed the same could be said about SOAs as a form of technology.At Motorola, Redshaw said the company's biggest challenge was taking a completely federalized, distributed "IT bowl of spaghetti" and moving it to a rapid, repeatable, component-based eco system. At the end of the day, Redshaw said although SOAs are very "problematic," he expects it will become the killer app within the communications industry. "Small and agile kills big and slow," Redshaw warned.
In calling on the audience to adopt an intervention model within their companies, too, Redshaw said there are only a limited number of ways to make change happen in a company, the two main approaches being the selling or persuasive model and the edict or the intervention model. While persuasion is the most common within the enterprise, Redshaw claimed studies show that the intervention model is nine times more successful than the persuasion model.
Phil windley covering this event covers Toby asking the questions. "What happens if you are 25% less efficient in IT than your direct competitor?" Don’t know? Then ask your self the question: "What happens if you are 25% less efficient in customer acquisition and retention or supply chain?" Those questions are related and will be more so in the future.
There are some good parts of SOA:
- rapid delivery of projects because development shifts to composing applications.
- projects are built top-down from existing processes (i.e. prototyped) rather than a complex technical specification.

There’s some bad:
- incomplete and evolving standards slow adoption
- concerns from loosely coupled architectures
- performance concerns from loose coupling
directories (UDDI) have been slow to appear and that makes re-use difficult

Here are the layers:
- Data layer: legacy apps
- Integration layer: EII, EIA, etc.
- Business logic layer: Web services based business objects
- Orchestration layer: composite application and workflow
- Presentation layer: portals, Web apps, thick clients

The orchestration layer has split into two parts: business process modeling and business activity monitoring (BAM). BAM allows companies to be proactive in a realtime sense rather than reactive. Motorola has 180 services utilizing an SOA framework with new project opportunities identified each week. They are refining their SOA architecture with maturing orchestration, nomenclature, and governance guidelines. They are creating an ROI model. They have an adoption strategy with guidelines and best practices.
Toby Redshaw's Keynote Presentation is available here and BEA's Mark Carges made another presentation available here

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Sadagopan's Weblog on Emerging Technologies, Trends,Thoughts, Ideas & Cyberworld
"All views expressed are my personal views are not related in any way to my employer"