Weblogic Authors: Yeshim Deniz, Elizabeth White, Michael Meiner, Michael Bushong, Avi Rosenthal

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Services-Oriented Architecture and Services-Oriented Development of Applications

A strategy for transition

Services-oriented development of applications (SODA) is an important development model for enabling organizations to reorient business processes in the transition to a service-oriented architecture (SOA). This article describes one such approach.

Services-Oriented Development of Applications (SODA)
Gartner refers to SOA and SODA as foundational elements of future computing. SODA is a new style of developing software, designed to work specifically within the SOA paradigm. SOA represents a collection of loosely coupled, coarse-grained, heterogeneous components that can be easily snapped together using Web services. The result is enhanced developer productivity, code reuse, and business agility. The SOA Blueprints (www.middlewareresearch.com/soa-blueprints/), an industry-derived set of best practices and associated reference implementation, is an excellent resource for those looking to move to an SOA.

SODA is centered on the creation and assembly of services and service contracts first, deferring the design and implementation of the objects and components that realize the services until after the coarse-grained service contracts have been ironed out. SODA developers focus more on the process flow within and between applications, and less on the code that creates the underlying system. For a brief and to the point description of SODA, see www.serviceoriented.org/soda.html.

Pain Points
The issues described below are certainly not all-encompassing, but are meant to exemplify the issues that often impact a development process (particularly when undertaken by larger enterprises with multiple development teams), and which might be alleviated by transitioning to a SODA-based development approach.

Dependencies / Bottlenecks
Bottlenecks related to the ordering of dependencies are usually the biggest issue. Developers are often waiting for a dependent item to be designed and/or implemented before they can continue with their tasking. One of the issues is the division of labor in a multi-team environment. A standard division of labor often employed in this environment consists of having different teams working on the same vertical slice of functionality in different tiers, causing these dependency-related bottlenecks to spring up.

Management and mitigation of dependency-related issues is crucial to ensuring that developers can continue to be productive throughout development iterations; however, it isn't possible to "manage" a dependency issue away if many of the pieces are being developed in parallel (which is often the case with a fixed deadline).

Creation of the data model for each of an organization's releases (iterations) oftentimes begins roughly in parallel with the development of the software that interacts with it and not much earlier, which is not ideal but not always possible to avoid. Similarly, the domain model for a release may not be completed prior to a development iteration that will be using it. Proper planning in building out the data and domain models first is critical to avoiding these issues but if the project is already well underway, it is what it is ("next time, we'll do it right"). These issues result in a bottleneck for the business services, object/relational persistence mapping, and enterprise application integration (EAI)/business-to-business (B2B) developers, who require both data and domain models to be completed before much of their work can commence. The dependency problems can quickly cascade.

Division of Labor
Development teams are often divided horizontally by tier (especially those that are geographically dispersed). One team may be working on the presentation tier and the other on the business tier. This division often exists out of necessity due to the fact that off-site teams may not have access to the back-end systems with which the business tier needs to interact. Development of the presentation-tier functionality does not require access to these systems (at least during the design and initial implementation phases of the iteration). This division of labor has its problems, though, in that the development of discrete pieces of functionality (use cases) is being performed by separate (again, often geographically separated) teams. These teams often communicate through interfaces to business services and the data transfer objects (DTOs) (http://java.sun.com/blueprints/corej2eepatterns/ Patterns/TransferObject.html) exposed through them - a standard Java 2 Enterprise Edition (J2EE) best practice. The DTO structure and content often changes during a development iteration, as both the presentation and business services developers dig deeper into their designs and subsequent implementations. In addition, the structure/content of the DTOs is (mostly) driven by the structure of the domain model, and as it evolves, so do they. These issues could be lessened somewhat if the same team were working on an end-to-end slice of functionality (one team would be in control of the structure/content of the domain model, DTOs, business service interfaces, and the associated presentation). The key roadblock to going down a road with this approach is the capability to consistently simulate interfaces with the back-end systems, so that an off-site team can be given a full vertical slice. When teams are collocated, such back-end systems often have usage restrictions, especially when the back-end system is connected to and/or owned by another project, department, or business.

How Can a SODA Approach Help?
All resources are considered to be as services with SODA (from UI components on the front end to interaction with an external business partner on the back end). The primary development activity for the vast majority of developers here is the orchestration of those services. A small number of J2EE and integration gurus are responsible for the development of the implementation and/or extension of services in the case where the chosen SODA tools do not provide them off-the-shelf.

More Stories By Steve Buzzard

Steve Buzzard is currently working as a J2EE principal architect with Anexinet Corporation (www.anexinet.com), a leading systems integration firm headquartered in Philadelphia, with offices in New York and Washington D.C. Steve has over 19 years of experience in professional software development and has been working almost exclusively with the WebLogic Technology Stack since late 1998.

Comments (0)

Share your thoughts on this story.

Add your comment
You must be signed in to add a comment. Sign-in | Register

In accordance with our Comment Policy, we encourage comments that are on topic, relevant and to-the-point. We will remove comments that include profanity, personal attacks, racial slurs, threats of violence, or other inappropriate material that violates our Terms and Conditions, and will block users who make repeated violations. We ask all readers to expect diversity of opinion and to treat one another with dignity and respect.

IoT & Smart Cities Stories
The challenges of aggregating data from consumer-oriented devices, such as wearable technologies and smart thermostats, are fairly well-understood. However, there are a new set of challenges for IoT devices that generate megabytes or gigabytes of data per second. Certainly, the infrastructure will have to change, as those volumes of data will likely overwhelm the available bandwidth for aggregating the data into a central repository. Ochandarena discusses a whole new way to think about your next...
Dynatrace is an application performance management software company with products for the information technology departments and digital business owners of medium and large businesses. Building the Future of Monitoring with Artificial Intelligence. Today we can collect lots and lots of performance data. We build beautiful dashboards and even have fancy query languages to access and transform the data. Still performance data is a secret language only a couple of people understand. The more busine...
DXWorldEXPO LLC announced today that Big Data Federation to Exhibit at the 22nd International CloudEXPO, colocated with DevOpsSUMMIT and DXWorldEXPO, November 12-13, 2018 in New York City. Big Data Federation, Inc. develops and applies artificial intelligence to predict financial and economic events that matter. The company uncovers patterns and precise drivers of performance and outcomes with the aid of machine-learning algorithms, big data, and fundamental analysis. Their products are deployed...
All in Mobile is a place where we continually maximize their impact by fostering understanding, empathy, insights, creativity and joy. They believe that a truly useful and desirable mobile app doesn't need the brightest idea or the most advanced technology. A great product begins with understanding people. It's easy to think that customers will love your app, but can you justify it? They make sure your final app is something that users truly want and need. The only way to do this is by ...
CloudEXPO | DevOpsSUMMIT | DXWorldEXPO are the world's most influential, independent events where Cloud Computing was coined and where technology buyers and vendors meet to experience and discuss the big picture of Digital Transformation and all of the strategies, tactics, and tools they need to realize their goals. Sponsors of DXWorldEXPO | CloudEXPO benefit from unmatched branding, profile building and lead generation opportunities.
Digital Transformation and Disruption, Amazon Style - What You Can Learn. Chris Kocher is a co-founder of Grey Heron, a management and strategic marketing consulting firm. He has 25+ years in both strategic and hands-on operating experience helping executives and investors build revenues and shareholder value. He has consulted with over 130 companies on innovating with new business models, product strategies and monetization. Chris has held management positions at HP and Symantec in addition to ...
Cell networks have the advantage of long-range communications, reaching an estimated 90% of the world. But cell networks such as 2G, 3G and LTE consume lots of power and were designed for connecting people. They are not optimized for low- or battery-powered devices or for IoT applications with infrequently transmitted data. Cell IoT modules that support narrow-band IoT and 4G cell networks will enable cell connectivity, device management, and app enablement for low-power wide-area network IoT. B...
The hierarchical architecture that distributes "compute" within the network specially at the edge can enable new services by harnessing emerging technologies. But Edge-Compute comes at increased cost that needs to be managed and potentially augmented by creative architecture solutions as there will always a catching-up with the capacity demands. Processing power in smartphones has enhanced YoY and there is increasingly spare compute capacity that can be potentially pooled. Uber has successfully ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5–7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. CrowdReviews.com is a transparent online platform for determining which products and services are the best based on the opinion of the crowd. The crowd consists of Internet users that have experienced products and services first-hand and have an interest in letting other potential buye...
When talking IoT we often focus on the devices, the sensors, the hardware itself. The new smart appliances, the new smart or self-driving cars (which are amalgamations of many ‘things'). When we are looking at the world of IoT, we should take a step back, look at the big picture. What value are these devices providing. IoT is not about the devices, its about the data consumed and generated. The devices are tools, mechanisms, conduits. This paper discusses the considerations when dealing with the...