Thursday, October 26, 2006

Beyond SOA - SOBA

SOA in practice can be applied at two levels. One is strategic where SOA is primarily applied to bring business-IT alignment. Another is operational, to bring interoperability and Standards - E.g Application Integration/Portal Integration.

But the real value of SOA can be achieved only when an organization's business processes can be modeled, implemented, monitored and optimized. This places a lot of emphasis on how well SOA gets implemented. And What is the process in which SOA initiatives are translated from requirements to executable code.

As the industry understands this case, lot of work has been happening on this front.

1. SAP, Oracle are revamping their packaged business applications into Service-Oriented Business Applications (SOBA). The traditional way of implementing ERP systems is fitting your business processes into the applications' capability. The new way of implementing is to customize your application to implement your very own buisiness processes. SAP goes one step further on this front and unwraps all the business processes embedded in their applications as "models", so that these models can be customized according to organization needs and implemented.

2. Lot of industry specific frameworks/models are becoming available. HP provides specific frameworks for industries such as Manufacturing and Banking. IBM has models for Retail Banking, Insurance and Retailing. These models encapsulate the industry knowledge and promise to jumpstart the SOA initiatives.

3. SOA fabrics - Lot of vendors are providing industry specific SOA fabric / wrapper code that can be wrapped on a corporate's IT systems. One such example is Webify - that provides SOA fabric for Banking and Insurance sectors.

So Which industry you are into and How are you planning to go about doing SOA?

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