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

Proof of Concept (POC)
SODA can provide potential for significant productivity enhancement; however, it is not without its downsides:

  • The lack of current standards for tool support dictates a degree of vendor lock-in.
  • SODA places much of the development burden on tools. This implies that the tool is adept at the generation of lower-level plumbing code that is either completely hidden from the developer or, if available for customization, can be easily maintained.
  • Is the resulting architecture scalable and per formant? Is it extensible?
  • There needs to be significant effort given to training the development staff on the SODA tool(s) chosen. The shift in the process by which one develops software is not insignificant.
A POC is required to demonstrate/prove a SODA approach. This POC must be extensive enough to demonstrate/prove at least the following concepts:
  • Services-based design paradigm shift. We especially need to dig into the various service layers (realize/utilize at least one domain, business, use case, and presentation service).
  • Multi-team development. This includes source control integration and the assignment of specific roles related to SODA (presentation designer, use case designer, business/domain designer, J2EE expert, integration expert, etc.).
  • A use case scenario realization that implements a full vertical slice. It is important that this use case scenario touches on all tiers, including (perhaps especially) the integration tier.
  • Demonstration of the assembly and orchestration of the following service types:
    - Presentation and presentation flow
    - Basic Web services
    - Business process (workflow)
    - Messaging
    - Back-end integration (EAI)
    - Security
  • Integration with lower-level J2EE components
  • Integration with existing functionality
  • Demonstration of the publication, and subsequent look-up/discovery of services and associated metadata (documentation)
  • Demonstration of a development, build, deploy, test, and release cycle
  • Demonstration of service simulations, to show alleviation of dependency bottlenecks
Service-Oriented Architecture and Domain Pluggability
This section discusses the extent to which an SOA can help better enable business domain pluggability. Pluggability, as defined here, is the capability to swap out one domain implementation (business services and associated domain model) and replace it with another. Pluggability requires that the domain implementation only be exposed through well-defined interfaces (the clients of the domain, including other domains, never know about anything but the interfaces). This can be achieved with a component-based approach; however, there are limitations to this: the clients of the domain are generally bound to particular versions of the component interfaces (at least without jumping through reflection/classloader-related hoops or using some sort of brittle JNDI naming convention).

A domain model, generally, is too fine grained to be directly exposed as a set of services. For this reason, any inter-domain relationships realized within the domain model should be kept to a minimum, in order to achieve pluggability with respect to its clients (the domain services). This obviously implies that inter-domain relationships within the data model are likewise kept to a minimum. The domain model is only exposed to the domain services layer. The business devices (if needed) and use case services layers interact with the domain services. Domain services interact with their applicable domain model and convert the fine-grained, object-oriented interface of the model to a coarse-grained, services-oriented interface. See Figure 3 for a conceptual (example) illustration of how these layers might be defined.

There are always trade-offs to consider when choosing an architectural approach, and moving to an SOA employing SODA is certainly no different. There are many interpretations of what exactly SOA (the concept of which has been around for a great many years) and SODA really mean. For the purposes of this document, services are defined as coarse-grained interfaces that are often generated by a tool and usually talk XML. These services can be, but are certainly not always, exposed as Web services. The services should be dynamically configurable at both design and runtime, so that a particular service can be reused for many different purposes. The service implementations themselves will be a mixture of custom-built and third party. These services are usually layered and are, for the most part, orchestrated into presentations and business processes. Whenever one talks of XML, layering, and dynamic configuration, performance and scalability concerns enter the conversation. Likewise, SODA's great reliance on tools raises discussions on vendor lock-in. Reliance on particular toolsets also raises questions about software builds, change management, and deployment, and how these tools interoperate with the infrastructure currently in place.

Vendor Lock-in
One of the key value prospects of SODA is how tools will enable presentation and business process orchestration, (nearly) seamless XML/native language data transformations, design/runtime service configuration, registration, discovery, etc. All this is possible without any real all-encompassing SODA standards (there are, of course, piece-part standards such as Web services/SOAP, BPEL/BPML, WS-<fill-in-the-blanks>, etc.). This almost guarantees a certain level of vendor lock-in. The degree of vendor lock-in depends on the tools chosen and the use of those tools.

Performance and Scalability
There is often much concern around the impact to both performance and scalability of an application built on a layered, XML-based SOA. There are questions related to the potential overhead in using something as verbose as XML for intra-application communication and the serialization/deserialization potentially required by both client and service in order to translate the XML to the native language object representation(s). Scalability comes into play as more concurrent users, and larger payloads, interact with the application. Much of this can be mitigated via the judicious design of truly coarse-grained services and the enforcement of communication between well-defined service layers only. Limit long-lived state and ensure that operations are asynchronous where appropriate. SODA tools often help mitigate this concern as well by optimizing the XML transformations (or by natively operating on XML within their presentation and business process flows). In the end, though, there will certainly be more overhead and the early incorporation of application profiling under realistic use patterns must be ingrained into the process going forward to determine where optimization and tuning is required.

Build, Change Management, and Deployment
The tools picked must interoperate with the infrastructure currently in place, or provide the extensibility hooks to easily add this interoperability. Interoperability with the current build (usually Ant) and source control systems, and standard J2EE enterprise application packaged deployment units are all requirements.

The bottom line is that an SOA, built using the latest SODA-based tools, is certainly not a silver bullet (nothing is). A disciplined SOA approach can help to alleviate dependency bottlenecks somewhat, via data/service abstraction and simulation; however, the dependencies, especially at the domain layer, must still be managed. On the other hand, one of the benefits of an SOA is that the higher-level services can be developed relatively independently, thanks to the service and data abstraction. This allows the presentation and business process orchestrations to be developed independently as well.

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.

@ThingsExpo Stories
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
"IBM is really all in on blockchain. We take a look at sort of the history of blockchain ledger technologies. It started out with bitcoin, Ethereum, and IBM evaluated these particular blockchain technologies and found they were anonymous and permissionless and that many companies were looking for permissioned blockchain," stated René Bostic, Technical VP of the IBM Cloud Unit in North America, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Conventi...
In his session at 21st Cloud Expo, Carl J. Levine, Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1, will objectively discuss how DNS is used to solve Digital Transformation challenges in large SaaS applications, CDNs, AdTech platforms, and other demanding use cases. Carl J. Levine is the Senior Technical Evangelist for NS1. A veteran of the Internet Infrastructure space, he has over a decade of experience with startups, networking protocols and Internet infrastructure, combined with the unique ability to it...
22nd International Cloud Expo, taking place June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and co-located with the 1st DXWorld Expo will feature technical sessions from a rock star conference faculty and the leading industry players in the world. Cloud computing is now being embraced by a majority of enterprises of all sizes. Yesterday's debate about public vs. private has transformed into the reality of hybrid cloud: a recent survey shows that 74% of enterprises have a hybrid cloud ...
"Cloud Academy is an enterprise training platform for the cloud, specifically public clouds. We offer guided learning experiences on AWS, Azure, Google Cloud and all the surrounding methodologies and technologies that you need to know and your teams need to know in order to leverage the full benefits of the cloud," explained Alex Brower, VP of Marketing at Cloud Academy, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clar...
Gemini is Yahoo’s native and search advertising platform. To ensure the quality of a complex distributed system that spans multiple products and components and across various desktop websites and mobile app and web experiences – both Yahoo owned and operated and third-party syndication (supply), with complex interaction with more than a billion users and numerous advertisers globally (demand) – it becomes imperative to automate a set of end-to-end tests 24x7 to detect bugs and regression. In th...
"MobiDev is a software development company and we do complex, custom software development for everybody from entrepreneurs to large enterprises," explained Alan Winters, U.S. Head of Business Development at MobiDev, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Coca-Cola’s Google powered digital signage system lays the groundwork for a more valuable connection between Coke and its customers. Digital signs pair software with high-resolution displays so that a message can be changed instantly based on what the operator wants to communicate or sell. In their Day 3 Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Chambers, Global Group Director, Digital Innovation, Coca-Cola, and Vidya Nagarajan, a Senior Product Manager at Google, discussed how from store operations and ...
"There's plenty of bandwidth out there but it's never in the right place. So what Cedexis does is uses data to work out the best pathways to get data from the origin to the person who wants to get it," explained Simon Jones, Evangelist and Head of Marketing at Cedexis, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
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...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Telecom Reseller 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, NY. Telecom Reseller reports on Unified Communications, UCaaS, BPaaS for enterprise and SMBs. They report extensively on both customer premises based solutions such as IP-PBX as well as cloud based and hosted platforms.
It is of utmost importance for the future success of WebRTC to ensure that interoperability is operational between web browsers and any WebRTC-compliant client. To be guaranteed as operational and effective, interoperability must be tested extensively by establishing WebRTC data and media connections between different web browsers running on different devices and operating systems. In his session at WebRTC Summit at @ThingsExpo, Dr. Alex Gouaillard, CEO and Founder of CoSMo Software, presented ...