muSOAing for 2/8/11 – SOA and BPRE

One of the key USPs for SOA has been it’s ability to revolutionize Business Process Re-engineering. SOA has become so pervasive that what had been the exclusive preserve of middleware integration technologies or the so called hub component of the integration puzzle has now proliferated to the spokes. Every EIs system worth it’s salt is now packaged with inbuilt SOA frameworks to enable two way service interactions and do away with arcane adapter based point to point interfaces that are hard to build, maintain and enhance.

So what’s all this buzz about BPRE. Well, at the end of the day, all your IT systems boils down to business processes you implement to run your business efficiently. SOA is again key to this as it fosters a business first paradigm. Your business process can be as simple as exposing one very discrete function like get today’s ARM rate to a very complex process orchestration spanning several functional silos and that may inturn be comprised of several sub processes.

When there is this problem of plenty, service design becomes even more critical so much so that it has evolved into it’s own art form. Service design in terms of how coarse or granular should a service be is very crucial. While a service design may look very good on paper (or Visio), it may fall flat on it’s face when actually implemented so a lot of thought has to be given to key aspects such as Service Level Agreements. Every consumer of your service is a customer and can dictate what the SLA should be. Other curve balls such as rolling out a new version of the service that not all consumers are ready to adopt leading to service versioning. SOA is hence a key technology that can not only address the business requirements but also key technical aspects which we shall examine in more detail in our next muSOAing.

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