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An SOA Case Study: Agility in Practice

Alcedo Coenen and Dr. Chris Harding

Alcedo Coenen Dr. Chris Harding

As boundaries within and between enterprises become increasingly permeable, there is a greater need for information flow. This is inhibited by the "information silos" formed by traditional software applications. Service-oriented architecture (SOA) replaces these silos with loosely-coupled services, enabling information to flow as needed, and delivering enterprise agility. This is a case study from ING Card, a division of the ING Group, member of the Jericho Forum of The Open Group. It describes the first phase of their SOA implementation, with services that are hard-wired rather than dynamically discoverable. It illustrates how even this stage of SOA can deliver real business agility, and contains some interesting lessons for SOA implementation. A credit card business combines two financial services: payment and consumer credit. Payment by plastic is accepted worldwide thanks to a large payment network, mainly maintained by credit card brands such as MasterCard and VISA. The card issuer usually also provides a revolving credit facility that allows delayed repayment of the balance. The complete product is often referred to as the "revolving credit card."

Business Rules in SOA: Decision Services and the Centralization of Rules Management

James Taylor

James TaylorSatadru Roy

Business agility is typically defined as some variant of the ability to detect a need to change, analyze the possible responses to this change, decide on an appropriate change, communicate this change and then act to realize the change (Figure 1). Service-oriented architecture can support this process by allowing for change to be more easily made, largely thanks to a reduction in the time, cost and difficulty of fulfilling new business requirements through the composition of existing services.The definition of functionality as coherent components or services with well defined interfaces helps limit the impact of a change to a single service, making change easier to control and execute. Well defined services are loosely coupled – they use service contracts to allow services to interact with each other without having to form tight dependencies. Such services can be changed independently and, provided the interface to the service is not affected, this change should not impact other service consumers.

Web Service-Enabling Relational Databases for SOA

Robert Schneider

Robert Schneider

Despite the continuing rise in service-oriented architecture acceptance and adoption, many business users, developers, and systems administrators are still seeking real-world applications to highlight its power and flexibility. Luckily, just about every enterprise has a valuable collection of information that's just waiting to be brought into the modern, service-oriented era. And to make things even easier, most of these assets are neatly organized within databases.In this article, I describe how you can leverage legacy corporate intelligence to provide immediate value to your user community by incorporating and exposing it as part of an SOA.

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