A development standard for strategies, operativeness and company technologies

SOA is an approach used to realize information systems, which contributes to making such systems scalable and flexible on one hand and to fill the gap between business divisions and IT divisions within a company on the other.

Starting with the diffusion of internet in the second half of the 1990s, the world economy underwent a thorough evolution in which "time to market” has become the main leading factor and the companies that survive, based on the well known Darwin principle, are not the most intelligent or the strongest, but the ones which know how to react well and more rapidly to change.

In this context, the traditional IT responses to problems such as scalability and distribution are no longer efficient and a new approach is required that accepts the idea of heterogeneity in the systems and leads the systems towards decentralization.

SOA provides precisely this approach via three key elements:

  • Services, autonomous software modules, which resolve specific business functions independently of technology and platforms, and that can be realized as basic elements for constructing larger services or processes.
  • an infrastructure of integration, typically named ESB (Enterprise Service Bus), which allows the combination of services in an easy, flexible manner
  • policies and processes for managing the fact that the large distributed systems that are built with a view to SOA are heterogeneous, in evolution and governed by various owners.

SOA therefore, is neither a product nor a set of products or architectures, but a paradigm of development and integration that embraces many components and areas within a company, from strategic ones to operational ones, and even technological ones. An SOA project is therefore always a strategic project within a company and requires a strong commitment, a roadmap, a migration plan and risk management.

The characteristics of the SOA approach as stated above, together with the fact that this kind of approach aims at integrating the pre-existing technological and application context rather than replacing it, i.e. everything is commonly defined using the term legacy, make Engineering the ideal player for the realization and management of SOA projects. In this context, Engineering has progressively created application and technological expertise in order to manage SOA projects from various points of view in the best way possible and has adopted standard methods of analysis design and development, such as its Mainstream Software Oriented Analysis Methodology (MSOAM).

From a technological point of view, Engineering has matured knowledge and experience on the most commonplace enabling technologies for the realization of SOA projects, including IBM Websphere ESB, Oracle ESB, Tibco Business Works and Tibco Active Matrix, SAP NetWeaver Process Integration, Service Mix. Also, for several years now, when the concepts of SOA and ESB were still in the emerging phase, Engineering has been developing and supporting the open source project Spagic that provides a full infrastructure for modeling, realizing, installing and governing SOA projects by composing and orchestration of atomic services within the business processes. Spagic is used as a development and integration infrastructure in many projects that Engineering carries out for its clients.

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