muSOAing for 8/11/09

So how ambitious should you get with Canonicalization. Quite ambitious actually. Any halfhearted measures and short cuts will only lead to lot of heartburn later and it is very easy to take short cuts. There are several patterns here which I will discuss in subsequent posts but suffice to say that upcasting or downcasting by mapping from a superset schema to your own small custom schemas is always not recommended.

The BA who will be driving this effort has to possess certain very unique skills and a bulk of those skills are soft skills akin to a Secretary of State as it involves liaisioning with the key players and department heads, driving and arriving at standards while at the same time ensuring that you do not step on any toes and rub people the wrong way so this person carries a lot on his/her shoulders.

One of the first tasks that has to be undertaken, given the scope of the effort which will normally be company wide as any meaningful SOA implementation has to encompass the entire organization, will be to take stock and do a thorough audit of the existing schemas and data representations being used. You certainly do not want to find late in the game that there are 4-5 representations for Order being used by these 5 different depts. The goals is to normalize and have these 5 depts use one common Order Canonical.

So this audit phase is very crucial and will consume a lot of time. The involvement of the Tech Lead at this point is also very crucial to vet and catalog all these schemas in both a document and a registry for easy lookup.

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