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Enterprise benefits of a service-oriented architecture using Web services

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  • Gervas Douglas
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 5, 2004
      <<Service-oriented architecture
      We began exploring Web services, with which an application could
      expose its functionality to the external world. This sounded good,
      but how is it managed? Would application functionality be exposed,
      creating a free-for-all? Integrations must make sense. What data does
      one application need from another? For example, shipping needs to
      know when an order is created and expected. Manufacturing needs to
      know when an order comes in and whether shipping has enough products
      to meet the order. We identified these factors as integration points.

      With our SOAs, we began creating the "brain matter" that could manage
      and contain the neurons that allow information to synapse all over
      the enterprise. Each neuron is a different system that communicates
      with other neurons through Web services. Currently, companies that
      want to harmonize their IT applications create a giant neuron by
      purchasing the all-encompassing ERP. Their reasoning is that if you
      can't buy applications that can talk to each other, buy one big
      application that does it all.

      Stop replacing and start leveraging
      The major problem with mergers and acquisitions is integrating
      everyone's information to leverage the strengths of both companies.
      Quite often, I have walked into subsidiaries that behaved very
      independently from the parent company, because both companies had
      completely different systems and no one could figure out how to
      inexpensively integrate or replace their software with the parent
      company's systems.

      SOA allows companies to leverage each member's existing technologies
      rather than replace them. SOAs using Web services are noninvasive.
      After the SOA has been put into place, the company with the SOA can
      explain to other companies how to plug in. The parent company can
      plug into the subsidiary to obtain its information and vice versa. A
      company can use the SOA to enable B2B transactions.>>

      You can find this consultant's advice at:


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