Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Methodology and SOA for the Methodology Nazi in You (and Don't Forget Governance)

The title is a little tounge-in-cheek but there is a segment of the software community that cares a lot about application development methodology and making it easier for a large team to follow the associated best practices (and correspondingly harder to make excuses for going off and doing their own thing). The current focus on Service Oriented Architecture has placed a really bright spot light on these issues and the stakes are high for ignoring best practices.

IBM's Rational Method Composer (RMC) can be used to customize an established development methodology such as the Rational Unified Process (RUP) for your particular project or organization. RMC comes with "multiple process content libraries, including RUP, RUP plug-ins, SUMMIT Ascendant methods, and other processes for Program, and Portfolios management."

Once you customize your development methodology, you can export it to Rational Portfolio Manager to help project managers create project plans. See Exploring Rational Method Composer and Rational Portfolio Manager integration.

You can also export your customized methodology into content that loads into Rational Application Developer for WebSphere (RAD) so that your developers can refer to the guidance from within the same Eclipse shell as they develop their Java code. The method content is displayed within RAD in a "Process Advisor" view as described in New Features of RAD 6 for WSAD v5 Developers Course Outline beginning on page 8.

For those of you who worry about making sure your organization follows a newly established SOA Governance policy as they start creating new business services, rolling out an Enterprise Service Bus, and making "grow my own" vs. reuse decisions, download IBM Rational Method Composer plug-in for SOA governance. This helps "identify appropriate best practices, merged with your existing IT processes, to provide proper governance of the capabilities introduced with SOA. The end result is a project plan to create your organization's unique governance framework." Note the project plan tie-in which would benefit from the integration of Rational Method Composer with Rational Portfolio Manager as described earlier.

For those of you who are both methology czars and service modelers there is a free download UML Profile for Software Services, RSA Plug-In which can be used to customize Ratonal Software Architect for modeling services in an SOA environment. It uses the conceptual model described in UML profile for software services and adds many useful stereotypes to your UML models such as Message, Service Partition, Service Provider, Service Consumer, Collaboration, Service Collaboration, Service Channel, Service Specification, Service, Service Gateway, and Message Attachment.

Copyright © 2006 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved

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

Thursday, August 17, 2006

The Many Flavors of IBM ESB Implementations

A few weeks ago I had the good fortune to receive an email at work which invited me to attend some training on Service Oriented Architecture (SOA). I jumped at the chance and quickly registered for two classes as it is so difficult to find time for serious learning while trying to keep my head above water in my "real job."

This week, the class has focused on how we could implement various Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) scenarios using the different IBM products. (Be prepared for WebSphere overload.) In particular, we've talked about:

To a lessor extent, we've been talking about:

Tomorrow, I hope to finish my lab in which we demonstrate an ESB scenario which uses both WESB and WMB. We are also supposed to address systems management issues using IBM Tivoli Composite Application Manager for SOA (ITCAM). And... tomorrow we also get around to that frequent afterthought called "ESB security".

The class had been in Pittsburg and I must say I've been favorably impressed with the city so far. Below is a picture of the confluence of the Ohio, Allegheny, and Monongahela Rivers at Pittsburgh as seen from the top of the Duquesne Incline, over 400 vertical feet above the river. The class is in the brown building on the right side right above the yellow arch of the bridge.

Here's the view from the IBM training facility on Stanwix Avenue alongside the Monongahela River. For you old timers, I'm told this facility dates back to the days of the IBM acquisition of TransArc and their products like Encina. Nice view. Tough duty, huh?

Click here for more Pittsburgh pictures.

Copyright © 2006 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved

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

Friday, August 04, 2006

How on Earth Do We Test SOA?

More than once on my SOA journey I have wondered to myself and out loud "How on earth do we test this stuff?" with the "stuff" meaning an SOA infrastructure or an SOA-based application. Intuitively I have always thought that the testing strategy must have to be different. One of my numerous email newsletter subscriptions ( IT Business Edge Hot Story )caught my eye the other day with the catchy title "The Pitfalls of SOA Software Testing." Its worth taking a look:

There's not a lot of talk about software testing in an SOA, maybe because it's so complicated. Even in a simple database that's part of, say, an order processing application, you have to expose the application code as a service, make sure it does what it's supposed to do, make sure it doesn't do anything you don't know about, regression test the original database, stress test the service, acceptance test it—and that's only one service. It gets worse with composite applications.Read "SOA and Software Testing" at

Copyright © 2006 by Philip Hartman - All Rights Reserved

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

Thursday, August 03, 2006

IBM Acquires Webify

See IBM Acquires Webify. This acquisition has both a Software Group play and a Global Services play in the SOA space.

"Webify software helps accelerate the development and deployment of applications that business users need to quickly respond to market and competitive pressures. It provides hundreds of industry-specific, pre-built standards-based accelerators, tools and frameworks. Webify's offerings help solve business problems that are specific to a given industry such as HIPAA compliance for healthcare companies and ACORD standards in the insurance industry.

IBM's acquisition of Webify strengthens its leadership in service oriented architecture, which helps a company reuse existing technology to more closely align it with business goals, resulting in greater efficiencies, cost savings and productivity. By bringing together IBM's development and use of open industry standards with Webify's expertise in semantics, IBM can better solve common business problems in a given vertical industry. Together, IBM and Webify will help businesses run more efficiently by accelerating the integration of business processes and the sharing and reuse of proven applications and best practices. "

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