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)

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)

Web Service Contract Design & Versioning for SOA

It's always good to get an idea of the big picture before diving into the details of any technology-centric topic. For this reason, we'll take the time to briefly mention the overarching goals and benefits associated with service-oriented computing as they relate to Web Service contract design. Because these goals are strategic in nature, they are focused on long-term benefit - a consideration that ties into both the design and governance of services and their contracts. An understanding of these long-term benefits helps provide a strategic context for many of the suggested techni... (more)

Cloud Computing, SOA and Windows Azure

For a complete list of the co-authors and contributors, see the end of the article. Microsoft's Software-plus-Services strategy represents a view of the world where the growing feature-set of devices and the increasing ubiquity of the Web are combined to deliver more compelling solutions. Software-plus-Services represents an evolutionary step that is based on existing best practices in IT and extends the application potential of core service-orientation design principles. Microsoft's efforts to embrace the Software-plus-Services vision are framed by three core goals: User expe... (more)