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Thomas Erl

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Top Stories by Thomas Erl

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 alignment with business models. The models themselves may need to be built or further refined in order to fully incorporate service-orientation principles. Then, of course, there's the middle ground - an approach that tries to balance the requirements of the top-down strategy with the efficiency... (more)

Exclusive SOA Web Services Journal Briefing – Thomas Erl On SOA

With the unwavering prominence of service-oriented architecture (SOA) there is an increasing interest in understanding what exactly it means for something to be considered "service-oriented." Thomas Erl recently completed a lengthy research project for SOA Systems Inc. into the origins of SOA and the current state of service-orientation among all primary SOA technology platforms. This body of work contributed to the mainstream SOA methodology developed by SOA Systems and was also documented in Thomas's new book, Service-Oriented Architecture: Concepts, Technology, and Design. We ... (more)

Introducing SOA Design Patterns

Originally inspired by techniques used to design buildings and cities, and popularized by the Gang of Four during the mainstream emergence of object-orientation, design patterns have seen us through the various shifts in architecture, technology, and, of course, design. Pattern catalogs have periodically emerged, one building on the other, and each revealing a set of problem-solving techniques and providing invaluable insights as to how and when those techniques should be used to help us attain our design goals. SOA has its own history, having risen out of a haze of ambiguity to e... (more)

SOA Pattern of the Week (#2): Non-Agnostic Context

Should a service only be considered a service if it's reusable? The answer to this question, as asserted by this pattern, is a firm "no." While agnostic services (services providing multi-purpose logic with reuse potential, as per the Agnostic Context pattern), receive the most attention during service modeling and design phases, it can often be short-sighted to focus only on agnostic service logic. Non-agnostic logic represents any type of functionality that is unique to a given business process or task. In other words, non-agnostic logic is single-purpose in nature and therefo... (more)

SOA Pattern of the Week (#3): Domain Inventory

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 vi... (more)