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Thomas Erl

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Top Stories by Thomas Erl

Enterprise-wide harmonization is a desirable and ideal target state that fully supports pretty much everything SOA and service-orientation stand for. For those that have achieved such a state, bless your standardized hearts. You have accomplished something that has eluded many others. However, not attaining this state does not mean you cannot successfully adopt SOA. In some circles it has become common to view an SOA initiative as an all-or-nothing proposition that demands an uncompromising commitment to an enterprise-wide transformation effort. For those that subscribe to this view, it can inspire visions of architects choking at the thought of having to comply to global data models, IT managers losing sleep over having to give up authority over their departments, and rebellious developers being rounded up by the standards police (equipped with industry-standard rio... (more)

SOA Pattern of the Week (#4): Service Normalization

Like data normalization, the Service Normalization pattern is intent on reducing redundancy and waste in order to avoid the governance burden associated with having to maintain and synchronize similar or duplicate bodies of service logic." You can see it introduces the Pattern on our publisher page. When designing data architectures, you can easily end up with different databases or even different database tables containing the same or similar data. This has been the root of many well documented data maintenance and quality issues that helped establish data normalization as widel... (more)

SOA Pattern of the Week (#5): Service Decomposition

A service inventory is a living body of services that individually will need the freedom to evolve independently over time. What we learned when documenting the SOA design pattern catalog is that there are patterns that emerged not only at design-time but also during this post-implementation evolutionary stage in a service's lifecycle. There is one common scenario that repeatedly surfaced in many projects: When we model and design services during early stages of SOA adoption we are constrained by current infrastructure and technology. These constraints require that we limit the s... (more)

Best Practices for Transition Planning

Despite the magnitude of a migration to a service-oriented platform, the continuing uncertainty of critical WS-* standards, and the often thundering impact of large-scale SOA deployments, now is the time to start considering the move. The key to a successful transition is to find a spot of calm amidst the storm of activity surrounding SOA, and develop an intuitive plan that will guide your organization through a path of technical obstacles, organizational resistance, and ever-shifting industry trends. Count yourself lucky if you've had the foresight to coordinate your migration ... (more)

Paths to SOA

Many are comparing notes on two well-publicized paths to achieving SOA. The bottom-up approach is currently the most common variety, where Web services are created on an "as need" basis to fulfill mostly integration-related requirements. These services are typically application specific and simply re-create traditional integration channels over the open Web services communication framework. The top-down approach, on the other hand, is one of analysis, deep thought, and patience. Service-orientation is infused into the business process layer so that services can be modeled in ali... (more)