Saturday, December 01, 2007

Best Practices - Mashups and the importance of Foundation Business Services

It seems like interactive web based social computing experience and SOA style services are not really thought of as related. However, when mashups are incorporated into the realm of the enterprise the need for ease of collaboration as well as accuracy tend to matter and this is where enterprise worthy services enter the picture.

In addition, having access to a registry is key. This SOA based infrastructure component becomes the central point for discovering loosely-coupled services that encapsulate core business functions and business semantics. To fully enable the knowledge worker in the selection of services for mashups, the business user community not only has to be included in the definition of the service but it has to be involved with the process of publishing these services to the registry as well. The reason being that business keywords that are used in describing the service are identified and entered when publishing the service to the registry. This level of cooperation and collaboration with the business user insures that the services are described using business language and grammer.

Finally, cross-business service payload validation behavior has to be put in place to prevent users from creating mashups that combine incompatible services. For instance, only services sharing related business contexts or those that return information at the same level of granularity should be allowed to be pulled together. Tools/ IDEs of the future that aid in the creation of mashups may be able to interrogate the categorization of business oriented services and informational metadata descriptors published into a registry or a repository to make a determination of inter-service compatibility. In the near term however, an enterprise will have to resort to governanace and testing policies to allow compatible types of services to be mashed up.

As can be seen in an enterprise context users can gain the capability to perform effective mashups when they can leverage reliable foundation services to access enterprise information systems. This way IT can enable user self-service by just making core services available to the knowledge worker and enhance business agility.

Your feedback is invaluable.
surekha -

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