Service Oriented Enterprise

Friday, October 14, 2005

SOA Boot Camp: Days 4 & 5  

I was way too tired to blog about the boot camp last night - so now I'm playing catch up...

Day 4 focused on service design: best practices in message creation, encoding types, scoping the port types, importing common types, etc. We all agreed that the current documentation around 'best practices in service design' is still pretty weak.

We also had the whole class do contract first design - and then bind it back to platform implementations, in our case Java. As a reference, we went through Axis, ActiveSOAP and XMLBeans just to give everyone a feel for the various components.

Day 5 moved into testing. Roland Lynn and Wayne Ariola from Parasoft gave us a serious lesson on SOA based testing. Their suite has extensive capabilities for generating test suites and executing the tests across just about any configuration (encodings, transports, attachments). We were also educated on static analysis techniques and scanning for malicious attacks. The session ended with an impressive view of their SOA based load testing capability.

SOA testing is going to have to enter mainstream. It was really kind of odd to see that the state of the art in testing is beyond just about all other aspects of SOA infrastructure. Who'd of thought?

posted by jeff | 5:07 PM

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

SOA Boot Camp: Day 3  

Another tough SOA Boot Camp Day!

Most large enterprises have a number of legacy systems in place - and many of them running on the mainframe. SOA and Web services provide a great way to access those business and data services.

Momentum has a number of clients that are choosing to use services as a stepping stone to migrating functionality off of the mainframe. In this way they are able to create a standard interface and have the clients plug into it. Later the implementation of the interface can be moved to whatever hardware software platform they choose.

We were fortunate to have Rob Morris and Wilson Rains of GT Software educate on 'service enabling' legacy software. First, it was great to see an organization that understands both the classic mainframe environment and the next generation service oriented enterprise. Most companies that we talk with that come from a mainframe environment really don't get SOA - this was a welcome change.

The other item that we quickly noted was the depth of their product suite. We've evaluated a number of similar packages and many of them have quasi-connectivity solutions. As an ex-IBM 390, MVS, VM guy, I know that there is a real big difference between those that understand this environment and those that don't.

posted by jeff | 7:37 PM

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

SOA Boot Camp: Day 2  

Day 2 - Today we covered more of the advanced WS-Specs and what it means to distribute a loosely coupled systems across a network. The focus was on 'creating a virtual application' by using "RST" (reliability, security and transactional integrity).

Most of knew this stuff already so we started the 'Requirements Analysis' workflow early. The first step focused on what has changed in capturing business stakeholder requirements (processes, collaborations, interactions, etc.) The second half focused on the changes in specifying a software system (candidate services, enterprise concerns, etc.) One thing that we all agreed on is that the requirements stage has significantly changed and that we need a specialized course. We landed on "SOA for Business Analysts" which will update the RUP concepts (Vision Document, Use Cases, etc.) with more up-to-date techniques.

posted by jeff | 2:28 PM

Monday, October 10, 2005

SOA Boot Camp: Day 1  

Today was the first day of our SOA Boot Camp. For those of you that haven't heard, MomentumSI has pulled our first batch of SOA consultants out of the field for 17 days of in-depth training.

We started out covering the basics - WSDL, SOAP, and a bunch of the WS-protocols. For us, it wasn't so much of an education on the basics, but rather a discussion of how to explain these concepts to newbies. As SOA consultants one of the biggest issues we face is getting the teams at our clients on the same page by using a common vocabulary.

Although we tried to focus on the basics - we found ourselves conversing on the more interesting aspects (business value, architectural patterns, governance, etc.) It was also interesting to hear the chitter-chatter between the consultants. It sounds like many clients are running into the same basic problems. It was better to hear that the consultants are agreeing on common solutions!

posted by jeff | 3:49 PM