Monday, January 23, 2006

High Points and Challenges Regarding SOA and Other Tidbits from IBM Software University

The “Best Stuff” from IBM Software University 2006 (in my humble opinion)

IBM Software Group I/T Architects were almost giddy with delight about IBM’s acquisition of DataPower, a manufacture of Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) “appliances” used to “speed and secure” Service Oriented Architectures (SOA). There was much buzz about how this “ESB in a box” would be a great way to put ESB technology and web services gateway technology in particular in corporate DMZ’s. I think it is a great convenience also for smaller companies interested in a plug in device vs. managing a software stack on a traditional server.

Some great ESB pattern work I’ll cover in a future post. (link to left added after the fact when new post added)

Service Component Architecture (SCA) and how it is used to assemble services into composite applications.

A good discussion of “Simplicity” in our solutions vs. being “Simplistic”.

The Architect “Jam” with the top Software Architects from the IBM Architect Software Board, DB2, WebSphere, Tivoli, Lotus, and Rational.

New collaboration between the IBM Software Group labs and field practitioners.

IBM acquisition of PureEdge and the incorporation of this technology for e-Forms into IBM Workplace Forms. This offers great technology to get closer to the “paperless office” environment and eliminate the need for optical character recognition (OCR) of paper forms and faxes.

On the methodology front, a plug in for the Rational Unified Process (RUP) to support SOA projects.

New research from MIT showing correlation between the business agility provided by I/T investments and business value generated.

IBM acquisition of BowStreet technology and its use in “dashboard” type displays in portal applications.

Improvements in packaging that allows WebSphere Process Server version 6.0.1 to be installed from a single CD and have all the components required to run sample Business Process Execution Language (BPEL) process flows.

Improvements in the new WebSphere Business Modeler to include a swim lane editor and a business measures editor.
SOA Challenges Still Out There (also my humble opinion)
Governance of SOA in the budget and political realities of our customers. This includes a lack of shared funding models for shared services. (See my previous post on the funding topic)

Relative complexity of the software stack required to implement a full-featured SOA within a corporation including ESB, identity management, security, service aggregation, process choreography, etc.

Semantic interoperability between web services in large organization. “Does a purchase order service mean the same thing to me as it does to you?” This is closely related to the governance issue above. "How do we keep from proliferating a large number of similar but slightly different web services?"

Favorite Joke Heard:

"Do you know the difference between a computer salesman and a car salesman?.... The car salesman knows when he's lieing."

The postings on this site are my own and don't necessarily represent IBM's positions, strategies, or opinions.

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