Welcome!

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

Related Topics: @CloudExpo, Industrial IoT, Microservices Expo, IBM Cloud, Weblogic, Recurring Revenue, Artificial Intelligence, Log Management, Server Monitoring

@CloudExpo: Article

A Key Phase in SOA Programs Business Service Realization

The key message is to ensure that the enterprise business drivers and objectives are clear and unambiguous

SOA in the Cloud

Cloud Computing Expo - Today, every IT enablement and business transformation task has an element of SOA (Service Oriented Architecture) embedded in it.

However, even with matured SDLC (Software Development Lifecycle) processes for IT execution, the gap in identifying business services for an SOA implementation still remain. Architects and business stakeholders are generally found struggling with questions such as "When should we identify a service?"; "Who should be identifying them?"; "What should be a service and why?"

Service identification in enterprise architecture involves realizing the enterprise's business vision. However, the business vision statement often gets lost as stakeholders confront and struggle with day-to-day activities. Therefore, it is essential for IT to be clear about business objectives when answering service identification questions.

This article provides an approach that can be used in all SOA execution programs where service identification poses a challenge. It analyzes the transformation program of an organization laying down next-generation multi-channel eCommerce business with capability to extend and onboard new business models and channels involving business service delivery for B2B (Business to Business) trading partners and affiliates.

When to Begin?
For any business transformation and its supporting IT enablement, the journey of service identification implicitly starts with defining the vision statement. It must be understood that the business vision is the only reason for initiating and driving the complete SOA engagement. The business vision(s) must be objectively broken down into business drivers primarily in the following areas shown in Figure 1.

These business drivers set down many architectural principles for further phases of work. Figure 2 provides the key aspects for service identification.

Business Service Realizations
Business Service Realization is one of the key activities in a transformation program. It helps organizations build an IT system according to business objectives and enables them to evolve continuously with the changing market conditions. In the current scenario, it is important that IT systems support the dynamism in the business and market conditions. The trick is to build an IT system over a set of business services. However, it is imperative to understand the driving forces and influencers before constructing business services, since missing any detail can lead to a brittle IT system. This section provides an analysis of the various driving forces and influencers that must be considered to realize business services. Business Services, by definition, need to encapsulate the business functions being offered.

There can be multiple perspectives when we talk about a business service, such as a business service offered by:

  • An organization to its customers
  • An organization to its suppliers and partners
  • Partners and suppliers to the organization
  • The internal organization to fulfill certain business functions, etc.

Figure 3 provides key considerations for Business Service Realization within a transformation program.

All the perspectives mentioned earlier will have different sets of driving forces and influencers that need to be considered before completing the realization of a service.

Driving Forces for Business Service Realization
Any business service realization task needs to consider the following aspects at a high-level before moving forward:

  • What: What are the key business entities that one should consider to meet the stated objectives?
  • How: How can these key business entities be aligned to meet the end objectives?
  • Where: In which geographies will these entities be located as per the stated objectives?
  • Who: Who in the organization needs to be involved to meet the end objectives in the best possible way?
  • When: When do all these aspects need to come together to meet the end objectives?

What - Key Business Entities
It is important to identify the key business entities that will be involved as per the stated objectives and their inter-dependencies.

For example, any eCommerce website rollout strategy involves the organization itself; the product to be offered; and the customers, suppliers, shippers, and warehouses to meet the end objective of doing business on the Internet. In addition, it is important to understand the interlinking of these entities. This provides:

  • The correct representation of these entities within a business service
  • Entity linkage rules to be encapsulated within business services

How - Business Process Models
Business Process Models or business processes are the biggest chunk of work within any business service realization task. These processes establish how an organization does business with the various entities identified.

For example, the eCommerce rollout strategy deals with customer experience as one of the business processes. It includes customer experiences with regard to viewing the catalog, comparing various offerings, selecting and checking out products, ordering and order modification, and after-sales customer service. This analysis provides:

  • Process hierarchy for service encapsulation
  • Process and entity dependency
  • Business process model in conjunction with the where, who and when aspects. It enables bringing out the following aspects of the process models:
    - Variation of process based on geography (where)
    - Regulatory compliance with respect to geography (where)
    - Organization structure (who) and process ownership for rolling out the process model
    - Key events and cycle time (when) for the process models

Where - Business Logistics
Business Logistics bring in the variation of process models and entity relationships in the business offering. This aspect lays down the process variation required based on the geography and regulatory compliance specific to that geography. It thus provides the required inputs to make business services flexible enough to handle various situations. For example, order fulfillment which includes the item "television" within the UK would require that a government agency be notified of the sale, whereas it is not required in other geographies.

Who - Business Organization Structure
Business Organization Structure is an important factor to consider while defining process models since it is critical to have the right people architecture (Roles and Responsibilities) to support the process models. The interplay between process models and the people (actors) results in a clear demarcation of boundaries within and without the enterprise for the ownership of process areas. This helps identify the business service hierarchy to support changes with minimal impact.

An example is an eCommerce site that starts with multi-channel initiative needs to support the standard way of product purchase, order visibility, claims, returns/refunds and, across channels, this results in the business organization structure aligning with the commerce, order management and operations where each results in a standard service to deliver consistent behavior across the customers and internal users.

When - Business Events and Time Cycle
Business goals need to be measured and appropriate action planned to meet the program's overall objectives. This aspect needs to be considered while identifying critical events and cycle times to bring in the desired changes. There are different connotations to this aspect for the planning and execution stages.

While planning, it is important to lay down the time cycle to achieve the end objectives and how the business service needs to be rolled out to address different events identified during planning. For example, if the rollout of a marketplace offering follows a B2C offering, the services to be rolled out should consider the appropriate variation in timescale in rolling out the services. It enables planning of the key events to be monitored during execution to ensure that the rollout plan is successful.

One should not lose sight of any existing IT assets such as legacy modules or traditional enterprises with which the business needs to interact to fulfill its vision. In order to ensure incremental investment in infrastructure, the business solutions should be implemented in such a way that they are scalable without having to make any changes to existing implementations. The following are the key influencers in business services realization:

Key Influencers
COTS Strategy
Most enterprises end up buying a number Commercial, Off-The-Shelf (COTS) applications to ensure lower total cost of ownership and rapid IT enablement. It is important to closely review the process models and entities to identify encapsulation of these processes embedded inside these ready applications. When these applications need to communicate with each other to fulfill any business process, it becomes necessary to expose the appropriate business capabilities as a service.

Legacy Interactions
The business scalabilities of existing IT assets can be deeply entrenched within legacy applications. To avoid the re-development of such business capabilities and to ensure that the modernization of applications is done incrementally/iteratively, the business capabilities within legacy interactions need to be identified and provisioned as services.

Architecture Layering
The classification of application layers while defining the architecture enforces certain rules in which the architecture layers communicate with each other. The presentation layer in a distributed architecture must be decoupled from the business capabilities in the business logic layer. This must be done in such a way that the business logic layer can communicate not just with one form of User Interface (UI) but also with devices like the mobile and channels like the IVR or SMS. In this case, such business capabilities need to be identified as services.

Third-Party Interactions
In order to ensure that the total cost of ownership is kept low, enterprises are using third-party services to fulfill their business vision. Post code verification by Royal Mail, product reviews by Bazaarvoice, and product recommendations by Choicestream are just a few examples of this. Such business capability dependency on third-party interactions that cross the network domain boundaries needs to be wrapped by abstract service interfaces.

QoS Capabilities
Generally, the quality of service (QoS) is not categorized as a business service but is termed as infrastructure or non-functional service. However, with a lot of emphasis on leveraging B2B network gateways, such capabilities are now closely related, expanding businesses with B2B trading partners. To provide an example: the authentication and authorization capability in Amazon Web Services can be core to delivery of the public services that satisfies the objective of having a secured integration gateway. Other examples of QoS capabilities are auditing and service-level agreement (SLA) monitoring.

SOA Principles
The SOA principles for service realization are listed in Table 1. The business service needs to completely satisfy the SOA principles with a valid rationale.

The Last Word
While there does not exist any silver bullet approach for service identification, the key message is to ensure that the enterprise business drivers and objectives are clear and unambiguous before initiating the service identification process. The key influencers must be identified and validated against the enterprise principles before realizing them into services. The service design principles need to be communicated and enforced through a strong governance process. The service ideation and delivery must pass through life-cycle governance with the participation of business stakeholders, enterprise architects and IT supplier/vendor management. The aspects discussed above can be the checkpoints or stages to ensure that the business services are relevant toward business strategy and hence deliver optimum return on investment.

More Stories By Bhupesh Naik

Bhupesh Naik is a technical architect, a certified SOA solution designer and practitioner working with Infosys Technologies Ltd. He has 10 years of experience in multiple platforms and technologies and has delivered large-scale SOA engagements in domains like Retail, Defence, Insurance and Transport.

More Stories By Manas Sarkar

Manas Sarkar is a principal architect with the Infosys Enterprise Solutions group and heads the Technology Council for the BPM-EAI business unit. He has been leading many client engagements for strategizing and implementing SOA/EAI solutions for large-scale IT programs.

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
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"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.