Showing posts from 2009

Issues with SOA Adoption

Here is my attempt to identify some of the reasons for failure to adopt SOA. This time the focus is on not having a holistic SOA enabling infrastructure.

Many large enterprises try to reduce vendor-lock by not having a single provider for their entire SOA development/ deployment stack. This philosophy works great from a risk management perspective. However, this risk management strategy directly competes with the “speed to market” gains promised by SOA.

1. Not having a unified platform that facilitates seamless integration across the service orchestration layer, the application layer, the data layer etc. leads to long system integration and debugging cycles
2. Not having a centralized facility for the end to end management and monitoring of services can cause long outages and hampers the ability to track information/ transactions flowing across the various layers of the service architecture (i.e. service orchestration layer, the application layer/ business logic layer,…

Role of Events in taking Proactive Action

In exploring the role of events is it possible to achieve predictive analysis to provide rapid response and take proactive action?

One possibility is by tracking how humans handle event exceptions and locking their processing logic and turning this into business logic. This allows one to perform event correlations and to automate exception handling. Here event handling can take the form of rapid response or proactive action. Further, analysis of precursor events (i.e. events that occurred just prior to the exception) could lead to predictive alerts to be raised to circumvent exception situations and thus enable proactive actions to be taken.

If sensors and RF ID technology are the first steps to event capturing and event processing then addition of event analysis and event composition (Complex Event Processing style) is the next step in the evolution with exception based learning and proactive action based event emission may be considered a more advanced step in the process of E…

Missing-link between Business Architecture and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)!!!

Before we embark on the effort of establishing a link between Business Architecture and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) here is an attempt at creating a loose working definition for each.

SOA is an architectural paradigm that allows one to model, build and measure reusable business components that can be flexibly assembled to offer a business service.

Business Architecture is an architecture style that structures the accountability over the most important business activities (for instance production, distribution, marketing, etc।) and/or the economic activities (for instance manufacturing, assembly, transport, wholesale, etc.) into domains.

To begin with here are a few key SOA principals that all apply to the realm of Business Architecture. Principals of loose coupling, abstraction, reuse and interoperability (of both messages and the operations) all of which facilitate composition of more course grained business services.

So what does a Business Architecture effort entail and how is …

Economy and IT

All the bad news about economic downturn got me thinking that there are a few parallels to be drawn between the cause and effect of current economic situation and IT. Just like American consumer, we have to start thinking about making some adjustments that will be required in future. Lets look at some of the parallels first:

Exotic instruments – One of the reasons financial system came crashing down was the invention of exotic financial instruments such as Collateralized Debt Obligation (CDO), Credit Default Swap (CDS) etc. These instruments were not well understood by majority of people that were peddling it or those that bought into it. We in IT world have been living in alphabet soup of our own – EAI, AI, SOA, BPM, CEP etc. While some of these acronyms have legitimate meaning, most are there to sell products or consulting services. In financial world these instruments have led to illusion of profit thus fat bonuses for undeserving people. In IT world this has also led to fat profits…

SOA is not.....

Looks like there is a contant need to educate the industry on SOA and this time I shall take a stab at what SOA is not....

SOA is not about technologyWeb Services is not SOASOA is not dead - it has the same symptoms as global warming (too much pollution in the air)SOA is not defined as "A camel is a horse desinged by a committee" It is not a case of Chicken (Business Architecture) and the egg (SOA)SOA is not entirely about reuseSOA is not expensive - it follows Archimede's Priciples :)SOA is not a product or a platform SOA is not about registry & repositorySOA does not start with a big bangJust my thoughts and please do feel free to drop me line with your comments and/or feedback. Yogish

Thoughts on Finding Value in BPM/Workflow Technology

I found an interesting entry on my colleague Todd Biske's blog Finding Value in BPM/Workflow Technology.

Here are some additional thoughts on how the value proposition for the BPM and Work Flow Management tools could be taken to the next level.
1) Ability to incorporate "Rules" or a "Rules Engine Component" into a business process step or a work flow task would be a great addition to these BPM/ Work Flow Engines. These rules can be encoded best practices or they can be regulatory in nature or business algorithms that may be volatile while the process flow or the work flow may not be so.

2) Ability to perform impact analysis for any process flow change prior to releasing the "new process".

3) Availability of analytical tools that could suggest optimization opportunities that could make process improvement suggestions such as the following
a) how switching the steps in the process may benefit the overall process flow
b) how metrics show that there is a ton of…

Have you heard for Ahmedabad? If not - you should

Ahmedabad is the largest city in the state of Gujarat (India) and is a few hundred miles north of Mumbai. This is also the city where Gandhi had his ashram where he start the non-violent movement for freedom from the British rule.

It is very unlikely that you have heard about this city, other than maybe seen it in the Gandhi movie not knowing the name of the City. Based on my recent trip there earlier this year I believe that it has the potential of becoming one of the major International cities in India .
Following is my reasoning: The state of Gujarat was hit by a major earthquake in 2001 which resulted in thousands of death and substantial damage to the infrastructure. From this tragedy rose an opportunity (and which I sincerely hope we repeat the feet to overcome the current financial crisis)

The state and the city rebuilt all the major roads include some highways that are mostly 6 lanes wide (OK the extreme two are now used for parking). Even though there is traffic - it keeps movi…

Key Learnings:Drawing parallels between Design Patterns and the principles of SOA - Part II

This blog entry attempts to expand on the concepts explored in a prior blog of mine Key Learnings: Drawing parallels between Design Patterns and the principles of SOA that deals the relevance of design patterns in the world of SOA and services. Patterns explored previously were the Facade, Abstract Factory, Builder, Factory and Bridge.

In this blog we look at how infrastructure components like the ESB that are part of the service mediation layer insulate the service consumer from the service provider by offering call-dispatch functions that map out the most efficient call execution path for honoring a consumer business request। Many of the constructs of the service mediation layer provide add-on capabilities which are in fact model driven implementations of common design patterns।

Adapter - modifies an incoming method call to fit the required method signature or definition of the provider without impacting the consumer

Transformer - adapts the parameter and return type or message format …

Architetcure in 2009

This will be my first entry into the blog for 2009. It has been a while due to a lot of churn over last few months. I am happy to see 2008 go. The only fear I have is that at the end of 2009, I don’t want to be longing for 2008. What a brutal year. I am hoping that people have learnt some lessons that you can not always focus on short term results at the expense of doing the right thing that has long term value. Architecture falls in that long term value category, yet first thing organizations do when it comes to cutting costs - they sacrifice architecture. Why do we keep rewarding people that cause untold harm in the long run while seemingly achieving short term goals? Most IT organizations fall into the same category. Senior executives are rewarded based on short term gains or operational efficiencies at the expense of long term viability. Current environment will only exasperate the situation.

It seems to me that executives and boards have not met the responsibilities entrusted upo…