muSOAing for 9/11/09

One last note about COTS simulators. Keep in mind that these will cost you money. For the features they provide you and what you will end up paying for them, I think they are not worth it. I have done extensive build vs buy studies and have found out that they it is better to build your own simulator at least in my case due to the specialized features that were required.

Of course COTS products will have a lot of fancy bells and whistles such as a nice GUI for setting up your simulations for each service which BTW is not too hard to build in your own home grown simulator. So beware of the high costs and the vendor lockin, you normally will end up paying yearly maintenance and license fees.

Now coming to the tools, especially if you are acting as a broker sitting in the middle between a Portal Framework and the Web Services framework which you are also involved in building but is taking time to come to fruition. Being the agent you have to cater to the needs of the Portal as if you are serving up real services eventough the services by themselves are still being developed and are not available.

Remember that for the Portal they will need the various response XMLs for each screen so one or more response files will map to a particular Portal screen.

You will need a few tools if you do not have the canonicals handy. In order for you construct your SOAP messages for the Simulator, you will at the miminum need the XPath notations of all the elements in your Canonical which you should have during the course of your Canonical development. The Business Analyst is the best person who can provide you with these. From the spreadheet, create the metadata file that will consist of the screenname, XPath notation and the attribute name and have a program use this metadata file to generate the various screenwise XMLs you need.

If the Portlets for each Portal screen are being built dynamically using some technology like XForms then these tools will come in very handy to generate the XML metadata that the XForm engine will need to generate the screen.

Now that I have given you an idea of the kind of tools you may be needing, in the next few posts I will talk about the server side implementation for a web services backbone followed by SOA Governance which we can now talk about since we have services to govern šŸ™‚ Both Design time and run time governance and about SOA Security.

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