Showing posts from October, 2007

Key Learnings - Living Business Driven SOA

There are some significant challeges in getting business buy-in on supporting SOA. Back in August my work in obtaining this support was recorded in the following interview with Jennifer Zaino of bITa Planet.

The opening statements of the interview are as follows:

"Some of the Words of advice from the frontlines: One IT leader discusses the challenges of getting business buy-in for service-orientated architecture (SOA)."

Please read the complete list of this conversation:

I would love to hear you views on this matter.
surekha -

Key Learnings - Profile of a Business Service

My experience has led to the creation of the following service based postulates. These were applied by me on major retail SOA projects.

You can find these and other laws posted on the SOA Blueprint site.

A service should expose a single business function or business process in it’s' entirety A service should not make assumptions of the validity of the request and should validate the request for accuracy including checking that the requestor is authorized properly prior to honoring the call A service should delegate to the right enterprise resources to completethe business function A service should be responsible for notifying and dispatching the right requests/ information to all related services and/or applications on behalf of the requestor A service should be responsible for any call chaining, sequencing and aggregating of the requests and the intermediate responses in order to completely process the consumer’s original call A service should …

Selling SOA to business

One of the most important milestone in SOA adoption is getting the business to buy in. However, getting business buy in requires an approach that is sometimes not obvious. I had an interesting conversation with Jon Brodkin of Network World. Please check it out at

and let me know what you think

Ashok Kumar

Challenges in implementing BAM - drawing a relationship between business processes and operational system exceptions

I have a question to pose to those of you that have end to end business processes that are composed of multiple legacy business applications/ business services that may be deployed on disparate platforms and technologies. I am curious about what architecture patterns have been deployed by you to report on the operational state of business processes. Also, I would love to hear about how you provide business executives visibility to the business process execution related issues specifically to those metrics that impact business SLAs and KPIs governing the core value streams.

Product vendors have touted Business Activity Monitoring (BAM) to be the magic bullet that allows the creation of intuitive executive dashboards. Most BAM tools that monitor KPIs expect to subscribe to business events/ business alerts being generated from the business process. There in lies the challenge. The reality of where to gather the relevant data for creating the executive dashboard is what complicates most BA…

Best Practices: Establishing Enterprise Architecture Teams

Recently I have had a number of conversation with some key decision makers of various IT organizations and the common questions I got asked was to explain the process of establishing enterprise architecture teams.

This first requires the understanding the various IT organization patterns (models) as well as the evolution (maturity*) of the EA teams. My initial thoughts on this are available here.

Based on the feedback / comments from the community, I plan to take it to the next level of document the entry and exit criteria as well as the deliverable by the EA teams though each of phases.

* As there are already a lot of maturity models out there have decided to stay away from that term

Key Learnings: Blueprinting Information Architecture is key successful adoption of SOA

Following is the high-level approach for Blueprinting the SOA Framework for the enterprise.

Understand the business process and identify the areas for improvement
„Understand overall business objectives
„Understand specific business pain points
„Understand priorities

Develop the Enterprise Information Models to identify the Information services needed to support business processes

Develop the SOA Framework foundation to identify the infrastructure needed to support the business process needs.

Currently there are a lot of content available on the topic of best practices, key learning, reference architectures, ROI, etc. on the topics of Business Processes and Infrastructure. However there does not seem to be a lot of publications around Blueprinting the Information Architecture for SOA.

Basically there are three areas of focus for Blueprinting the Enterprise Information Architecture and are as follows:

Reference data: Examples: salutation, job title, contact type, partner type, region, state/pr…

Overhauled the SOA Blueprint site

The previous SOA Blueprint site was not very well organized and nor was it easy to maintain. As I was browsing through the Yahoo! Web Hosting Console I came across the "Site Solution" tool which makes it easier to manage and publish the content. Hope you like the new layout and please do feel free to send me your feedback, comments and/or any questions related to SOA. Following are the categories of content currently posted on the site.SOA Practitioners GuideSOA Case Studies - reference to case studies published by forums, analysts and vendorsSOA Organization and GovernanceEnterprise Architecture Frameworks - links to the most common EA frameworksEnterprise Architecture Resources - Resource page with information relevant to the Enterprise Architecture teamsSOA Reference Architecture - Reference to a list of various published SOA Reference Architectures SOA Maturity Models - There are multiple maturity model and this page attempts to list all the major ones along with some co…

Enterprise Architecture Survey Results

In the SOA Consortium: Enterprise Architecture 2010 Webcast both Ashok and I refer to the Enterprise Architecture survey which was conducted earlier this year. This was an unscientific and informal survey conductedand for those interested the survey results are available here.

SOA Consortium: Enterprise Architecture 2010 Webcast

One of the working groups in the SOA Consortium’s community of practice is the “EA2010” group. This group of seasoned enterprise architects from industry, government, systems integrators and vendors, has been actively discussing and defining the next generation role of enterprise architecture. Specifically, what enterprise architecture looks like – organization, practices and people – in a business-driven, service-oriented world.

We are excited to share the first release of “Enterprise Architecture 2010 – Where Enterprise Architecture Means Business” in a slide deck now available for download.

Prior to the release of this important deliverable, Brenda Michelson, SOA Consortium Program Director, sat down with the EA2010 working group leaders, Ashok Kumar and Yogish Pai, to discuss their working group’s motivation, findings and next steps. Their conversation is available as an on-demand webinar.

In this 31-minute webinar, Ashok and Yogish cover a wide range of enterprise architecture conce…

Semantics and its' role in Business Services

Role and importance of semantics in the context of services and SOA:

Semantics refer to interpretation of information and not the literal definition of information/ data. Applying semantics to information turns it into “knowledge”. Semantics is the act of applying references and drawing conclusions given a set of more scientific informational constructs. Typically semantics are derived using the context in which information is presented. Transposition on the other hand allows applies the rule of inference where in one can draw conclusions on the implication of truth based on some set of facts.

By deduction semantics and semantic transposition deals with alternate inferences being drawn from one or more data and informational constructs using business rules. Inferences of this nature are not completely predictable as the rules used to arrive at the interpretation may or may not be quantifiable and/or may not be codified into a business rule.

The biggest risk in dealing with semantics is t…

Enterprise Architecture: Making yourself recruitable...

A interested blog by James McGovern on "Enterprise Architecture: Making yourself recruitable..." for those enterprise architects looking for their next career opportunity.

Key Learnings: SOA Key Success Factors (BEA-IT 2002-2006)

Based on my conversation with my peers in the industry, there is still a lot of keen desire by IT Leadership teams to understand the key success factors for adopting SOA. Following are the list of key success factors we (IT leadership team) had identified while I was the CTO-IT at BEA Systems.
Build the right teamOrganize for successBuild coalition with business partnersMaintain FlexibilityThe slides of these are available here. I have created a link of all my key learning blogs at my structured blog.

SOA Practitioners Guide Part 4: SOA and ITIL Convergence

The SOA Practitioners have been working on the next set of the Practitioners' Guide with SOA and ITIL Convergence being the first (Part 4) of new set of Guides. Burc Oral has been leading this effort for the Practitioners' and is presentation (SOA Practitioners Guide Part 4: SOA and ITIL Convergence) this at the eGov meeting today (October 1st, 2007).