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" SAP has executed an extensive customer program in which more than 150 enterprise service-oriented architecture (enterprise SOA) customer projects have been analyzed in terms of deployment strategies and impact to IT and business. Hear a compelling selection of true-life examples, from small projects to bigger strategic deployments of enterprise SOA, including Nortel Networks as a customer proof point. "
Source : SAP
Service Oriented Architecture is also known as :
Service-Oriented Analysis And Design,
Service Component Architecture,
Resource Oriented Architecture,
Component Business Model.
STRATEGIES EMERGE FOR DRIVING SOA DEEPER INTO THE MAINSTREAM
Service-oriented architecture is ready for prime time. IT managers resoundingly agree that SOA projects are no longer an "if"-they're a "when." Almost 70 percent of respondents to a survey of CIO magazine subscribers conducted by IDG Research Services say they either have SOA projects rolled out or are in the pilot stage. In this white paper, IT managers in the consideration, planning and revamping stage will get practical strategies for business-driven SOA deployments in the enterprise. They'll also learn how packaged solutions can accelerate SOA deployments and ease the burden of SOA management.
In addition, this white paper is designed to show how:
- SOA can help you achieve your number one goal-aligning IT with business.
- You can deliver new solutions and add visible value to your organization by focusing on
- SOA can facilitate a move toward a multi-channel strategy, including supporting mobile applications.
- Picking the right partner can mean the difference between success and failure for your SOA project.
- Standards-based packaged solutions can help you speed the time to market for your
IT executives have been given a clear mandate: align IT with business and harness that alliance for strategic business differentiation. But trying to create and manage applications that fulfill this mandate is time-consuming and costly. Also, with the demands of Sarbanes-Oxley and other compliance regulations, IT must keep close watch on applications; and what IT is looking for is a simple way to innovate, distribute and manage business processes across an organization.
SOA, a distributed software model that uses independent Web services to support business processes, answers this call.
Respondents to the survey say SOA will positively affect a host of business initiatives throughout the enterprise. Chief among these are application development, automation of manual processes and customer service. Just over one-third of the IT managers surveyed say they are confident this transformation will take place within the next 12 months.
Already, IT managers are seeing results from their SOA projects. Nearly one half, or 48 percent, say their experiences with SOA to date have met their expectations.
Because of the success of SOA in the enterprise and the confidence that IT managers have shown in the model, more than two-thirds of respondents report that they expect an increase in their companies' overall investment in SOA over the next 12 months.
IT managers say that SOA has helped them in many critical areas. With SOA, they are able to quickly adapt new business processes. Because the process definition is kept separate from the application, implementations occur faster and upgrades are more cost-effective. SOA also allows IT groups to extend the value of their network to business partners in a rapid fashion. Companies are able to reach out to new customers via Web services without suffering extensive development cycles. Organizations that need to outsource certain responsibilities can do so via an SOA architecture without losing visibility or control over their operations. Finally, SOA offers the ability to easily and seamlessly innovate across the enterprise, leveraging the investment in existing applications.
To gain these benefits, IT managers should follow these strategies.
I. Align IT andand business
SOA allows IT groups to align their strategies with the goals of the business. Seventy-nine percent of respondents to the survey say they hope to achieve improved agility by being able to map IT capabilities to the needs of the business. Sixty-nine percent aim to reduce IT systems complexity and maintenance costs. Respondents also hope to improve user productivity, deliver better business analytics faster, consolidate data, gain a real-time view of the supply chain and outsource with confidence so they can focus on core competencies.
With all of these outcomes, SOA enables IT to become a key player in the business. Josh Binstead, manager of tech services at PJM Interconnection in Valley Forge, PA, says SOA has positioned his IT team as mission-critical to the future of the company. The energy company has gone through several mergers and acquisitions over the past few years, which has created challenges for Binstead and his team. "We've doubled and tripled our footprint. We've undergone a tremendous amount of change and our systems had been patched together," he says.
The adoption of SOA has allowed his IT team to better manage the
change. "We've achieved interoperability among our systems and we now have a much better handle on how we're moving data around the enterprise," he says.
In fact, Binstead, who has closely aligned IT with the goals of the business, is in the midst of a multiyear, multimillion-dollar project to build a new control center with SOA at the heart of the network. "SOA is helping us create the next generation of PJM," he says.
II. Focus on composites compositescomposites
For most companies, managing bulky applications across the enterprise is burdensome. But a key part of SOA is the ability to introduce composite applications. Composite applications reside on top of other applications and cut across functional silos. Users are able to gain context from disparate pools of data, gather an end-to-end view of business processes and adapt to changing business needs.
Seven out of 10 respondents to the survey say their companies plan to develop and deploy composite applications as part of their SOA strategy.
Rich Kogut, associate vice chancellor and CIO at University of California at Merced, is a big fan of composite applications to extend the life of his existing programs.
With composite applications, users can search across numerous databases of faculty and staff members throughout the university system via shared services in the SOA landscape. They get context to their searches and are able to pool the results into a single view, Kogut says. He adds that overlaying SOA atop existing applications is a cost saver for the university. "SOA makes all of this easier," he says.
III. Change the channel
As IT groups deploy SOA, they are finding that it opens up the range of channels for them to reach users. Respondents to the survey expect that support for mobile channels will double in the next three to five years. In the near term, the next 12 months, 84 percent of users say they will support the Web/browser channel. Forty percent report that they intend to branch into smart clients/rich Internet applications via SOA.
SOA appeals to IT managers because it lets them support these myriad channels via a single platform. Previously, they would have to make separate investments in Web, desktop, mobile and other channels. However, that approach has proven unsustainable for the long term due to prohibitive costs and the resources needed to manage the various channels.
With SOA, companies can take advantage of what is sure to be a boom in the use of rich Internet applications powered by Web 2.0, Ajax and Flash. Coupled with these development tools, SOA helps companies ensure that mobile users have anywhere, anytime access to critical business applications.
IV. Pick the right partners
Many IT groups started out on their SOA journey alone-spending time and money trying to create a model that would span the enterprise. However, they have run into numerous obstacles that have stymied their SOA adoption.
More than a third of survey respondents say that incomplete and immature standards have inhibited or will inhibit their SOA plans. Another third say that they've had difficulty building an SOA road map. Other issues they've encountered include lack of governance, lack of service infrastructure technology, and difficulty determining how and where to start.
All of these problems can be addressed if IT managers match their needs to a proper partner. The right partner can also tackle unresolved security issues, provide a reference architecture and help identify the next application or service to build.
You should choose a partner that is familiar with your existing applications as well as the goals you have set for your SOA strategy. For instance, if you are in a particular vertical market, you'll want to select a partner ner with business process expertise in that vertical, in addition to knowing SOA technology requirements.
Partners should have a close relationship with the application vendor so that the greatest possible value can be extracted from the platform. Your partner should be able to inform you about the latest features and how they fit into your SOA road map. The alliance you create will help you boost innovation and business processes.
V. Use packaged applications that support standards
The days of having to build an SOA model from scratch are gone. Vendors are creating packaged software and services that address the needs of most vertical markets. By using packaged solutions, IT avoids the problems pioneers in this industry have faced.
For instance, 41 percent of survey respondents say a lack of skills and training have prevented or stopped broader SOA implementations. Another 36 percent cite a lack of budget and funding. Just over a third of respondents point to the lack of integration with legacy applications as a reason for problems with their SOA plans.
Packaged solutions alleviate all of these problems. They obviate the need for specialized SOA architects so IT groups are able to save money on personnel costs. Also, most packaged solutions vendors offer SOA training. In addition, IT can use packaged solutions to quickly map business problems with technology. By immediately showing value for their current projects, IT will gain the confidence of executives and the finance team for future SOA projects. Finally, many packaged SOA solutions are being built to complement existing applications so the problem of integrating with legacy applications disappears.
Sixty-five percent of respondents say they believe the migration of packaged software to SOA by leading vendors will accelerate and simplify the adoption of SOA at their companies. They report that the most important technologies in the adoption of SOA are middleware, XML, security and portals. Already, leading vendors have started to SOA-enable applications in these areas.
These vendors are also working hard to help develop and support standards for SOA deployments. They know that standards-based solutions make it easier for IT groups to show that SOA is ready to be deployed.
SOA has proven to be beneficial for a cross-section of vertical enterprises. It has passed out of infancy and into maturity and is ready to be deployed in your enterprise. You just have to follow some simple steps, including figuring out what business problems you're trying to solve. Once you've answered this question, you'll be able to use SOA to open up your network to multiple channels, increase your cost efficiency and extend the life of your existing applications. But more than that, you can team with your packaged solutions provider to fulfill the promise of IT as an innovator in your organization.
Peering into the SOA Crystal Ball
CIO Magazine sat down with Ori Inbar, Senior Vice President of Platform Solution
Marketing at SAP, to talk about SOA and SAP's platform for enterprise integration.
What's a good example of a company leveraging SOA to better align IT and
One of our customers is a major European magazine publisher with more than 7,000 employees. By deploying SOA, they were able to expand their reach beyond traditional boundaries, doing so by shortening the time it takes to get information into articles and then through the publishing process. As a result, they compressed the time from an article's conception to its being published in a magazine from months to weeks. Now other publishers are outsourcing their publishing processes to them, using the SOA infrastructure they have in place.
What is SAP offering in the area of packaged services and SOA-ready applications?
The transition to an Enterprise SOA architecture is essential to SAP's strategy, and it applies to every single product, solution or offering that SAP has. We deliver the mySAP Business Suite as a service-enabled solution, with a repository of pre-packaged Enterprise Web services, based on SAP NetWeaver. SAP NetWeaver helps customers drive down cost in their existing IT landscapes and accelerate the transition of their IT environments to a service-oriented architecture. SAP NetWeaver includes a provisioning
environment to connect to all of a company's IT assets and service-enable them, and a composition environment to quickly compose new composite applications based on these enterprise services .
Is SAP doing its part to promote key SOA standards?
SAP strongly believes that SOA standards are the foundation on which this whole
evolution will succeed. SAP is investing a lot in driving those standards, and it participates in all the major standards organizations, actually leading a lot of the standards initiatives. Some examples of key standards supported by SAP include BPEL, JEE5, and WS-RM. We also adopt a lot of the standards as they mature in our products, often being the first to
What does SAP offer to fill the fast-growing demand for composite applications?
Companies everywhere are struggling to keep their core systems intact while innovating at the same time with new applications to drive new business. That's where the ability to create composite applications enters the picture. SAP NetWeaver, the standards-based Enterprise SOA platform from SAP, offers a complete composition environment dedicated to the rapid creation of composite applications by SAP, its customers and its partners. The composition environment enables "business process experts" to compose new applications very quickly and easily using visual application and workflow modeling tools, leveraging existing applications in ERP, CRM, and so on. The composition environment for SAP NetWeaver is already used by SAP's ecosystem of Software Solution Providers (SSP) to deliver business-driven, innovative industry-specific solutions on the SAP NetWeaver platform.
To deliver these applications in today's business environment, don't you need a multi-channel approach?
Absolutely yes. What SAP is doing is decoupling the business process experience from the actual user interface. Our composition tools allow users to assemble a business process that can be exposed in different user interfaces. So the process can be accessed through Microsoft Outlook®, from an Adobe PDF document, from an Internet browser, from a smart client or rich client on a desktop, and so on. SAP brings support to all of these in a single integrated platform. This is important because customers in the past made piece meal investments in different mobile channels. By doing so they lost a key SOA benefit: namely, a common set of services, a common way of managing them, and a common way of delivering them. That is what we bring to the table-a single integrated platform that is a big win for the customer.