Service Oriented Enterprise

Wednesday, July 30, 2003

Consulting in Web Services is up...  

I don't need Gartner to tell me that more companies are buying consulting around web services - I just ask my sales team. And the news is good. More and more companies are calling us to kick off engagements.

The majority of what we are seeing right now is actually driven by the web service vendors. Companies that supply web service platforms, networks, security, transformation and management platforms have been asking us to help with client engagements. This is great news. It means that the product vendors are selling their products and the engagements are large enough to bring in hired guns.

We are also seeing new engagements where we are helping companies:
- Define a roadmap for becoming 'service oriented'
- Evaluate web service vendors & packages
- Integrate systems using web service technology
- Define corporate standards, policies and procedures around web services
- Educate internal staff on web service technologies

The most interesting area where we are getting involved is in helping companies create whole new methodologies around what we call a "Business Driven Architecture". Here, we discuss business strategy and measurements. This moves into identifying key business processes that they would like integrated / automated. We then spend time creating new artifacts to describe Digital Process Execution. From here, we create a service network to act as a substrate. Lastly, we 'service enable' legacy applications and orchestrate them to support the desired 'to be' business process.

It really feels good to give customers a BPM solution that is built the *right* way.

posted by jeff | 6:34 PM

Sunday, July 27, 2003

Invasive vs. Non-Invasive Architectures  

must a fabric be invasive?
can bpel avoid it?

If we standardize the concerns and remedies and interfaces, can we commoditize the fabric?

posted by jeff | 8:04 PM

The Service Fabric  

Here is my first attempt at defining a Web Services Fabric:

Concerns are the non-functional requirements (ilities if you will) - Scalability, Availability, etc.
Remedies are architectural components that attempt to resolve the concerns (clusters, etc.)

Every architecture has multiple components (database, presentation server, etc.)

Every architectural component has concerns (scalability, availability, security).

And every concern has at least one remedy (scalability is remedied by load balancing).

Every remedy has its own concerns (the load balancer must be secure).

And the concern to a remedy has at least one remedy (the load balancer will use secured authentication)

When the remedies to concerns leverage other remedies within the architectural circle, a consistent architectural fabric is created.

Service oriented architectures have the potential for creating such a fabric.

A service fabric is an integrated set of services that utilize each other to satisfy their architectural requirements.

posted by jeff | 7:59 PM

Webify comes out of stealth  

Webify, a company headed by Manoj Saxena (formerly of Exterprise; acquired by CommerceOne) has come out of stealth mode.

The company vision statement states:
"The promise of the Internet is an open e-business platform where companies can do business spontaneously with anyone, anywhere, anytime. Business Services Networks fulfill that vision.

We envision every company publishing standards based business services and processes that customers and business partners can discover and self-provision into their own business processes with a few clicks of a mouse. Companies will build on each other's services, creating new loosely coupled applications and industry-transforming, network-centric business models."

Webify is Austin based - and a neighbor of mine. I had a chance to speak with Manoj a few months back and I think he gets it. It is interesting to see that he is bypassing the 'chasm' theory though. I'll have to ask him why he is attacking FiServ, Health & MFG all at once.

It is also interesting to see how much they are basing their products around BPEL (and J2EE). I anticipate this to be a trend for some time to come. Webify has also had to harden the current IBM implementations to include early versions of reliability, security, isolation, etc.

I look forward to following their progress.

posted by jeff | 6:50 PM