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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)

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)

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)

SOA Pattern of the Week (#1): Service Façade

One of the fundamental goals when designing service-oriented solutions is to attain a reduced degree of coupling between services, thereby increasing the freedom and flexibility with which services can be individually evolved. Achieving the right level of coupling "looseness" is most often considered a design issue that revolves around the service contract and the consumer programs that form dependencies upon it. However, for the service architect there are opportunities to establish intermediate layers of abstraction within the service implementation that further foster reduced... (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)