Sunday, October 14, 2007

Succeeding with SOA

I just finished reading Paul C. Brown's "Succeeding with SOA - Realizing Business Value Through Total Architecture". The book describes how to approach SOA from the business side focusing on value and organization rather than technology.

He outlines 4 keys to staying on track with the total architecture approach to SOA:
1. justify each project on its own business merits
2. have an explicit architecture step in every SOA project that precedes the actual development work
3. have an active SOA architecture group
4. have a living SOA project roadmap

I liked the idea that every SOA project must have it's own definite business merits as to continually supporting the SOA movement. The positioning of the Architecture group among the business silos in an effective way is discussed.

As far as SOA Project Leadership goes, there are 3 critical project leadership roles.

1. Project Manager - responsible for ensuring that the combined business process and systems changes actually generate the project's expected business benefits within the cost and schedule guidelines

2. Business Process Architect - determines the structure and organization of the overall business process

3. Systems Architect - determines the structure and organization of the information systems supporting the business processes

Brown really emphasizes the architecture of business processes along with system architecture. This really makes sense as SOA is about mapping services of the enterprise.

The Total Architecture Synthesis(TAS) is an approach to developing business processes and systems together. "When compared with the classic waterfall-style development, this approach significantly reduces project cost, time, and risk. When compared with agile programming, this approach validates architecture suitability before committing to implementation" This process leverages the use of standard UML(Unified Modeling Language) design notations to capture the design of both business processes and systems. The use of UML is a good idea, as I feel that having a well known tool for capturing information is desirable.

All in all, a common sense book and I look forward to the forthcoming book, "SOA in Practice". This accompanying book will be more aimed at SOA Architects, rather than the focus on Enterprise leadership of this book.

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