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Thomas Erl

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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 caught up with Thomas (a previous contributor to WSJ) to ask him to share some of the insights he gained from his work with SOA and service-orientation. There's no need to mention that SOA has become a major focal point of the IT industry and a primary consideration on numerous corporate agen... (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 (#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 (#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)

Cloud Computing, SOA and Windows Azure - Part 4

For a complete list of the co-authors and contributors, see the end of the article. The following section demonstrates the creation of a simple "Hello World" service in a Windows Azure hosted application. Note: If you are carrying out the upcoming steps with Visual Studio 2008, you will need to be in an elevated mode (such as Administrator). A convenient way of determining whether the mode setting is correct is to press the F5 key in order to enter debug mode. If you receive an error stating "the development fabric must be run elevated," then you will need to restart Visual Studi... (more)