Service-oriented architectures (SOA) are the central them in the design of application infrastructures. So what exactly is SOA? SOA is a management concept rather than a technology. Based on the business processes specialized function services are provided. These are loosely coupled, well-documented and reusable. The aim is to establish a business-oriented infrastructure that are easily adaptable to changing needs. The services are provided by both internal and external providers that have registered them in one or several key directories. The services can in turn use other services. They are being used by so-called service users that implement the orchestrated services into their business processes.
A multitude of variables influence the process of adoption and adaption of SOA: The basis for selection a location are the following four aspects:
- Knowledge of business requirements
What does the business require from the IT?
- Documented business processes
What are the business processes and where are they supported by the IT?
- Defíned IT strategy
The strategic objektives of IT have to be determined and lined up with the business objectives.
- Knowledge of the current application landscape
The currently used application landscape with a variety of applications, components and systems must be known.
The interaction between different influences is displayed in the triangle graphic.
The starting point for a transformation to a service-oriented architecture are the existing IT systems. This grown infrastructure, which is usually heterogeneous, is generally geared to the various existing application. Coupling those is often realized using individual interfaces on a bilateral level. The operation of the IT service providers (internal and external) is based on a Service Level Agreement. It takes over part of the governance service regarding agreed services and (regulatory) legal aspects (e.g. privacy/data protection). It does not dismiss the client from his responsibilities.
The aim of using new technologies is to improve the company's added value. One way to achieve this is through a consistent pursuit of the SOA concept: Identify and deploy reusable services as a service-oriented architecture.
Especially when services are clearly defined it is possible to examine the sourcing policy and possibly optimize for individual or all services in a company.
The aim in all measures must be to improve the added value of business processes through SOA.
What SOA is not
SOA is not a pure technological approach, but a management approach that focusses on business processes. That means SOA is not the same as web services. There is a number of other technologies to offer technical features in a service-oriented way.
IT to process - An Agile approach in the implementation
In order to accelerate the implementation it is possible to chose a parallel approach instead of the Waterfall Model. This means means analysing the existing application regarding the business cases and functional units. This includes the decomposition into smaller modules (called services) to create a basis for orchestrating the services into a flexible architecture. Finally it is implemented of granular and loosely coupled services.
In parallel the specific processes are derived from the service descriptions. Mapping these processes, adding a technical description and consideraing plausability is the basis for abstracting the processes for the process manual. Finally a benchmark of the process landscape using the SOA quick check to determine the degree of maturity takes place.
SOA Quick Check
Using the SOA Quick Check and together with you we will develop the fields of action to build and enhance a service-oriented architecture and its related processes. The location is determined by asking questions such as business processes, IT strategy and IT infrastructure.
SOA with S&N
S&N will accompany you during the process of establishing or adapting a service-oriented architecture throughout all stept of the value chain. We support you with our know-how on both the technical side regarding the definition and documentation of the business processes as well as during the technical analysis and implementation.
Let us together create more flexible IT infrastructures and adapt to the market by improving flexibility and customer orientation.