Welcome!

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

Related Topics: Weblogic

Weblogic: Article

Paths to SOA

High Roads, Low Roads, and Roads Less Traveled

Many are comparing notes on two well-publicized paths to achieving SOA. The bottom-up approach is currently the most common variety, where Web services are created on an "as need" basis to fulfill mostly integration-related requirements. These services are typically application specific and simply re-create traditional integration channels over the open Web services communication framework.

The top-down approach, on the other hand, is one of analysis, deep thought, and patience. Service-orientation is infused into the business process layer so that services can be modeled in alignment with business models. The models themselves may need to be built or further refined in order to fully incorporate service-orientation principles.

Then, of course, there's the middle ground - an approach that tries to balance the requirements of the top-down strategy with the efficiency of the bottom-up approach. Known as the "agile" or "meet-in-the-middle" strategy, this path is somewhat of a roller-coaster ride, and sure to challenge the most seasoned project manager.

This article explores these three approaches to building service-oriented solutions. Before we chart each path, though, let's begin by establishing the common project phases associated with a generic SOA delivery life cycle.

SOA Delivery Life-Cycle Phases
Development projects for service-oriented solutions are, on the surface, much like other custom development projects for distributed applications. Web services are designed, developed, and deployed alongside standard components and the usual supporting cast of front and back-end technologies. Once you dig a bit deeper under the layers of service-orientation, though, you'll find that in order to properly construct and position services as part of a standardized SOA, traditional project cycles require some adjustments.

Looking at Figure 1, you may wonder why the first two-phase names are prefixed with "service-oriented" when the remaining phases have names that begin with just "service." The main reason this distinction is made is because it is during the analysis and design stages that SOA characteristics and service-orientation principles are actually incorporated into the solution being built - so much so, that they warrant unique analysis and design processes that are distinctly "service-oriented." The service phases are primarily concerned with the delivery of services that implement the results of service-oriented analysis and design efforts. Let's now explain each of these life-cycle phases.

Service-Oriented Analysis
It is in this initial stage that we determine the potential scope of our SOA. Service layers are mapped out and individual services are modeled as service candidates that compose a preliminary SOA. (Formal service-oriented analysis and step-by-step service modeling processes are provided as part of Chapters 11 and 12 in Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design.)

Service-Oriented Design
Once we know what it is we want to build, we need to determine how it should be constructed. Service-oriented design is a heavily standards-driven phase that incorporates industry conventions and service-orientation principles into the service design process.

This phase therefore confronts service designers with key decisions that establish the hard logic boundaries encapsulated by services. The service layers designed during this stage can also include the orchestration layer, which results in a formal business process definition. (Four step-by-step design processes are provided within Chapters 13 to 16 in Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design.)

Service Development
Next, of course, is the actual construction phase. Here development platform-specific issues come into play, regardless of service type. Specifically, the choice of programming language and development environment will determine the physical form services and orchestrated business processes take, in accordance with their designs. (SOA support in .NET and J2EE platforms is explored in Chapter 18 of Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design.)

Service Testing
Given their generic nature and potential to be reused and composed in unforeseeable situations, services are required to undergo rigorous testing prior to deployment into a production environment. Below is a sampling of some of the key issues facing service testers.

  • What types of service requestors could potentially access a service?
  • Can all service policy assertions be successfully met?
  • What types of exception conditions could a service be potentially subjected to?
  • How well do service descriptions communicate service semantics?
  • Do revised service descriptions alter or extend previous versions?
  • How easily can the services be composed?
  • How easily can the service descriptions be discovered?
  • Is compliance to WS-I profiles required?
  • What data typing-related issues might arise?
  • Have all possible service activities and service compositions been mapped out?
  • Have all compensation processes been fully tested?
  • What happens if exceptions occur within compensation processes?
  • Do all new services comply with existing design standards?
  • Do new services introduce custom SOAP headers? And, if yes, are all potential requestors (including intermediaries) required to do so, capable of understanding and processing them?
  • Do new services introduce functional or QoS requirements that the current architecture does not support?

More Stories By Thomas Erl

Thomas Erl is a best-selling IT author and founder of Arcitura Education Inc., a global provider of vendor-neutral educational services and certification that encompasses the Cloud Certified Professional (CCP) and SOA Certified Professional (SOACP) programs from CloudSchool.com™ and SOASchool.com® respectively. Thomas has been the world's top-selling service technology author for nearly a decade and is the series editor of the Prentice Hall Service Technology Series from Thomas Erl, as well as the editor of the Service Technology Magazine. With over 175,000 copies in print world-wide, his eight published books have become international bestsellers and have been formally endorsed by senior members of many major IT organizations and academic institutions. To learn more, visit: www.thomaserl.com

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
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftLayer, an IBM Company, has been named “Gold Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 18th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York, New York. SoftLayer, an IBM Company, provides cloud infrastructure as a service from a growing number of data centers and network points of presence around the world. SoftLayer’s customers range from Web startups to global enterprises.
"delaPlex is a software development company. We do team-based outsourcing development," explained Mark Rivers, COO and Co-founder of delaPlex Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 18th Cloud Expo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
SYS-CON Events announced today that CA Technologies has been named “Platinum Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY, and the 21st International Cloud Expo®, which will take place October 31-November 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. CA Technologies helps customers succeed in a future where every business – from apparel to energy – is being rewritten by software. From ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Technologic Systems Inc., an embedded systems solutions company, will exhibit at SYS-CON's @ThingsExpo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Technologic Systems is an embedded systems company with headquarters in Fountain Hills, Arizona. They have been in business for 32 years, helping more than 8,000 OEM customers and building over a hundred COTS products that have never been discontinued. Technologic Systems’ pr...
In his keynote at @ThingsExpo, Chris Matthieu, Director of IoT Engineering at Citrix and co-founder and CTO of Octoblu, focused on building an IoT platform and company. He provided a behind-the-scenes look at Octoblu’s platform, business, and pivots along the way (including the Citrix acquisition of Octoblu).
SYS-CON Events announced today that Loom Systems will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Founded in 2015, Loom Systems delivers an advanced AI solution to predict and prevent problems in the digital business. Loom stands alone in the industry as an AI analysis platform requiring no prior math knowledge from operators, leveraging the existing staff to succeed in the digital era. With offices in S...
SYS-CON Events announced today that HTBase will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. HTBase (Gartner 2016 Cool Vendor) delivers a Composable IT infrastructure solution architected for agility and increased efficiency. It turns compute, storage, and fabric into fluid pools of resources that are easily composed and re-composed to meet each application’s needs. With HTBase, companies can quickly prov...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloud Academy will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloud Academy is the industry’s most innovative, vendor-neutral cloud technology training platform. Cloud Academy provides continuous learning solutions for individuals and enterprise teams for Amazon Web Services, Microsoft Azure, Google Cloud Platform, and the most popular cloud computing technologies. Ge...
SYS-CON Events announced today that T-Mobile will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. As America's Un-carrier, T-Mobile US, Inc., is redefining the way consumers and businesses buy wireless services through leading product and service innovation. The Company's advanced nationwide 4G LTE network delivers outstanding wireless experiences to 67.4 million customers who are unwilling to compromise on ...
SYS-CON Events announced today that CrowdReviews.com has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, 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 buyers...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Infranics will exhibit at SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Since 2000, Infranics has developed SysMaster Suite, which is required for the stable and efficient management of ICT infrastructure. The ICT management solution developed and provided by Infranics continues to add intelligence to the ICT infrastructure through the IMC (Infra Management Cycle) based on mathemat...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Interoute, owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017 at the Javits Center in New York, New York. Interoute is the owner-operator of one of Europe's largest networks and a global cloud services platform which encompasses 12 data centers, 14 virtual data centers and 31 colocation centers, with connections to 195 add...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SD Times | BZ Media has been named “Media Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 6–8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. BZ Media LLC is a high-tech media company that produces technical conferences and expositions, and publishes a magazine, newsletters and websites in the software development, SharePoint, mobile development and commercial UAV markets.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Cloudistics, an on-premises cloud computing company, has been named “Bronze Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 20th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. Cloudistics delivers a complete public cloud experience with composable on-premises infrastructures to medium and large enterprises. Its software-defined technology natively converges network, storage, compute, virtualization, and management into a ...
Now that the world has connected “things,” we need to build these devices as truly intelligent in order to create instantaneous and precise results. This means you have to do as much of the processing at the point of entry as you can: at the edge. The killer use cases for IoT are becoming manifest through AI engines on edge devices. An autonomous car has this dual edge/cloud analytics model, producing precise, real-time results. In his session at @ThingsExpo, John Crupi, Vice President and Eng...
There are 66 million network cameras capturing terabytes of data. How did factories in Japan improve physical security at the facilities and improve employee productivity? Edge Computing reduces possible kilobytes of data collected per second to only a few kilobytes of data transmitted to the public cloud every day. Data is aggregated and analyzed close to sensors so only intelligent results need to be transmitted to the cloud. Non-essential data is recycled to optimize storage.
"I think that everyone recognizes that for IoT to really realize its full potential and value that it is about creating ecosystems and marketplaces and that no single vendor is able to support what is required," explained Esmeralda Swartz, VP, Marketing Enterprise and Cloud at Ericsson, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held June 7-9, 2016, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Microservices are a very exciting architectural approach that many organizations are looking to as a way to accelerate innovation. Microservices promise to allow teams to move away from monolithic "ball of mud" systems, but the reality is that, in the vast majority of organizations, different projects and technologies will continue to be developed at different speeds. How to handle the dependencies between these disparate systems with different iteration cycles? Consider the "canoncial problem" ...
Why do your mobile transformations need to happen today? Mobile is the strategy that enterprise transformation centers on to drive customer engagement. In his general session at @ThingsExpo, Roger Woods, Director, Mobile Product & Strategy – Adobe Marketing Cloud, covered key IoT and mobile trends that are forcing mobile transformation, key components of a solid mobile strategy and explored how brands are effectively driving mobile change throughout the enterprise.
As businesses adopt functionalities in cloud computing, it’s imperative that IT operations consistently ensure cloud systems work correctly – all of the time, and to their best capabilities. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Bernd Harzog, CEO and founder of OpsDataStore, will present an industry answer to the common question, “Are you running IT operations as efficiently and as cost effectively as you need to?” He will expound on the industry issues he frequently came up against as an analyst, and...