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Issue XXVII March 2009

SOA in Healthcare - Part II

Girish Juneja, Blake Dournaee, Joe Natoli, Steve Birkel

Girish Juneja
Blake Dournaee
Joe Natoli
Steve Birkel

Healthcare organizations today are challenged to manage growing portfolios of systems and applications. The cost of acquiring, integrating, and maintaining these systems is rising, while end-user demands are increasing. Furthermore, evolving clinical requirements need to be continually accommodated along with the required support for revenue cycle and administration business functions. In addition to all these factors, there are increased demands for enabling interoperability between other healthcare organizations to regionally support care delivery. SOA offers system design and management principles in support of the reuse and sharing of system resources across that are potentially very valuable to a typical healthcare organization. This two part article explores how healthcare organizations can leverage shared services to automate multiple business processes and strengthen overall interoperability while reducing the need to synchronize data between isolated systems. This two part article explores how healthcare organizations can leverage shared services... When using SOA for HIN integration architectures, the cost of integration can be reduced significantly and a sustainable source of value to the community of care can be established. To accomplish this, the service architecture of the HIN must: Simplify and reduce the number of interface points to create data interoperability in the network. Address the architecture, infrastructure, software, and related business services as a cohesive unit. Be deployable within the hospital, lab, pharmacy, and insurance company as well as within the shared HIN network. Support legacy systems, including current and evolving standards in healthcare data representation. Be scalable from small to large scale healthcare organizations in terms of cost, complexity, utility, and adaptability. The first key benefit that an SOA technique applied to a HIN will provide is to simplify the data interoperability problem. Although there are industry standards for data representation in healthcare, such as HL7, a fundamental problem with those standards is their varied interpretation in software. Therefore, the very first objective for a HIN should be to standardize the software interpretation and therefore implementation of representation and translation of healthcare data on the network. The most cost-effective way to do this is through a standardized set of core business services that...

Understanding WS-Policy Part II:
Operator Composition Rules and Attachments

Umit Yalcinalp, Thomas Erl

Umit Yalcinalp
Thomas Erl

The following article is an excerpt from the new book "Web Service Contract Design and Versioning for SOA" [REF-1] Copyright Prentice Hall/Pearson PTR and SOA Systems Inc. Note that some chapter references were intentionally left in the article, as per requirements from Prentice Hall. The WS-Policy language provides a set of features that allow for the definition of complex and sophisticated policies and that also enables you to choose from a range of options as to how polices can be attached and associated with WSDL definitions. In this, the second of a two-part article about WS-Policy, we demonstrate the use of operators and related composition rules. We then move onto an exploration of policy attachment methods, including external and embedded attachment options... The rules of operator composition are often referred to as "operator algebra," but don't let that term give you flashbacks to high school math class. This section is really just a more involved discussion about the inherent properties of operator elements and how these properties can affect the structures you build. It's important to understand these effects because you can combine operators in multiple ways to create highly complex policy expressions. In fact, one of the more interesting aspects of operator compositions is that you can produce composite policies comprised of policies created by yourself and others. The WS-Policy defined operators wsp:All and wsp:ExactlyOne have the following properties that form the basis of operator composition rules...

A Look at WSDL 2.0

Kevin Liu

Kevin Liu

Much like the chicken and egg dilemma, in the SOA industry, there is often a debate over which should come first -- business needs or technology needs. That largely depends on the problem you are trying to solve and whether it is a tactical or strategic solution that is desired. Today's businesses are seeking real solutions to real problems and the IT group is tasked with coming up with creative solutions that actually provide value. Users are putting new demands on IT and companies are experiencing a culture shift where IT and business managers need to collaborate in order to effectively implement new solutions. In addition, SOA deployments oftentimes don't move past the initial pilot phase because further IT tools and infrastructure spending required to grow such projects cannot be justified under the umbrella of overall business strategy. If the business wants a point solution to a specific problem then an SOA doesn't make sense. For this type of problem, the IT team should implement a tactical solution, whether it is a point-solution or a home-grown application. This provides the least amount of risk and a clear implementation path. However, if the business needs a solution to help solve problems they have today as well as problems they don't even know they have yet, then SOA is a valid solution and only the business can make that determination. In this case, the business must drive an SOA. One could argue that any organization should stop, take a step back, and figure out what its real problems are first. That should result in a strategic approach which...

SOA Design Patterns Webcast


SOA Pattern

Presented by Prentice Hall and Safari Books Online, this one hour Webcast will provide an overview of the SOA Design Patterns book and the related patterns catalog (also published at the community Web site for open access). Specific design techniques and design solutions documented as patterns will be highlighted and topics, such as inter-pattern relationships, compound patterns, will be further covered. How patterns relate to service-oriented architecture types, such as service architecture, service composition architecture, and service inventory architecture, will also be discussed. Service-orientation design principles and service technologies will be referenced as they pertain to specific patterns...

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