ServiceTechMag.com > Archive > Issue XXXIX: May 2010 > Leveraging the Next Generation SOA Ideals for Service Oriented Enterprises (SOEs)
Pethuru Cheliah

Pethuru Cheliah

Biography

Dr. Pethuru Raj has been working as a TOGAF-certified enterprise architecture (EA) consultant in Wipro Technologies, Bangalore. On the educational front, armed with the competitive UGC research fellowship, he could proceed with his research activities and was awarded the prestigious PhD degree by Anna University, Chennai, India. He then could acquire the meritorious CSIR fellowship to work as a postdoctoral researcher in the Department of Computer Science and Automation (CSA), Indian Institute of Science (IISc), Bangalore. Thereafter, he was granted a couple of international research fellowships (JSPS and JST) to work as a research scientist for 3 years in two leading Japanese universities. Dr. Raj also had a fruitful stint as a lead architect in the corporate research (CR) division of Robert Bosch, India, for 1.5 years.

Dr. Raj has more than 12 years of IT industry experience. Primarily, he has been a technical architect and currently he is providing technology advisory services for worldwide business behemoths on the transformation capabilities of enterprise architecture (EA) in synchronization with some of the emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT) / Cyber Physical Systems (CPS) / Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Integration, Big Data, Cloud and Service Computing paradigms, Real-time Analytics of Big data using Cloud-based NoSQL databases, Hadoop framework, etc. and Mobility. He has made use of the opportunities that came on his way to focus on a few business domains, including telecommunication, retail, government, energy, and health care.

Dr. Raj has contributed book chapters for a number of technology books that were edited by internationally acclaimed professors and published by leading publishing houses. Currently he is writing a comprehensive book with the title "The Internet of Things (IoT) Technologies for the Envisioned Smarter Planet" for a world-leading book house. The CRC Press, USA has just released his book on "Cloud Enterprise Architecture" and you can find the book details in the page http://www.peterindia.net/peterbook.html

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Leveraging the Next Generation SOA Ideals for Service Oriented Enterprises (SOEs)

Published: May 12, 2010 • SOA Magazine Issue XXXIX
 

Introduction

The mantra of every customer-facing business in this planet is to do more with less. This notion has drawn considerable attention these days due to the pervasive economic slump. Worldwide enterprises down with sluggish economy are hence keenly looking out for trend-setting inventions, innovations and non-linear methods in order to be competitively ahead in their service and solution offerings. Executives are seeking out novel and nimbler business, pricing and delivery models. Technical managers and architects are on their toes in order to unearth unconventional development approaches for faster software realization, integration, and modernization. Professionals and pundits are coming out with cutting-edge technologies, simplifying patterns, enabling architectures, and facilitating frameworks. As far as providing the state-of-the-art infrastructures, product vendors are equally inspired to make available their dependable, standards-compliant, and versatile runtimes, open and comprehensive development environments, a number of toolsets, utilities, widgets, etc. Researchers are focusing on discovering next-generation paradigms, construction methodologies, streamlining techniques, robust algorithms, and so on. Service organizations are leaning towards establishing and maintaining a taxonomy-aware repository of reusable service components, formal and platform-independent models (PIMs), agents, aspects, and other critical building-blocks in order to speed up the design and development of business solutions.

Several standardized processes, patterns, platforms, and products gel well to stabilize and solidify SOA as the enabling and empowering framework for modeling, assembling, implementing, and governing service-based business applications. Any enterprise by embracing the service orientation concepts strategically will have the edge in their operations and offerings and will be referred to as a service oriented enterprise (SOE).


Envisaging Next-Generation Enterprises

Executives and entrepreneurs have a crystal-clear vision for their endeavors and establishments. They come out with solid and sustainable roadmaps for attaining the planned goals linked with the vision. However the success of all the initiatives solely depends on the underlying IT products, processes, and people. In short, information technologies have a direct and distinct bearing on how enterprises are being run. Initially it was IT-driven businesses and nowadays with the emergence of business technologies such as SOA, the desired trend of business-driven IT is seeing the reality. Executives have understood and underscored the need to build dynamic enterprises. They are in the know-how of the strategic importance of information and communication technologies (ICT) for realizing their business objectives. Thus the vision is to craft and operate a high-performing and adaptive IT infrastructure that can support business agility, flexibility, efficiency and continuity. Visionaries and experts through their illustrious and industrious careers have formulated the following traits for the next-generation IT ecosystem.

  • Simplified, Sensitive and Synchronized IT
  • Real-time, Dependable and Flexible IT
  • Agile, Virtualized, On-demand, and Autonomic IT

A few proprietary as well as standardized approaches have prospered to achieve some of these objectives.


Fujitsu's Triole Approach for Dynamic Enterprises

Fujitsu's Triole is one such initiative for building and maintaining dynamic IT capability. Triole is a compelling architecture and product strategy to support and streamline the complicated IT operations and management. It is a learned and refined process to create industrialized IT infrastructure. It is all about optimal management of IT infrastructures and services through the two core technologies: virtualization and automation.

  • Virtualization - As it has been known for a long time, virtualization is about creating a virtual layer for bringing in the desired flexibility among various IT modules by eliminating the inhibiting dependencies. Virtualization cleanly separates business applications and data from dedicated IT resources that are pooled for flexible and on-demand usage. Virtualization enables IT infrastructures to adapt quickly to changing business requirements. Pooling encourages efficient utilization and dynamic provisioning of resources.
  • Automation - Pundits and professors encourage compact automation in place of error-prone manual operations as enunciated and elucidated by IBM's autonomic computing concept. IT systems, middleware and platforms will be empowered to be autonomic in their inferences, operations and deliveries. This not only enhances the efficiency and affordability but also ensures the continuity even in the midst of unexpected outages and disasters.

HP's Vision of Adaptive Enterprises

In an adaptive enterprise, business and IT are neatly and nicely synchronized to capitalize all kinds of changes (business and technology). IT breaks away from the inflexible, closed and silo-like systems of the past to open and forward-looking systems that deliver more value to the business more consistently. Samples of the gains being achieved by an adaptive enterprise include adding trading partners to supply chain in hours rather than weeks or months, doubling the pace of product introduction in the global market without sacrificing quality, shifting IT investment from infrastructure maintenance to core competencies, etc. The inherent capabilities of an adaptive enterprise include increased business availability, adaptivity and continuity, enhanced IT consolidation and simplified services management, and dynamic collaboration to maximize productivity through sharing and optimal utilization of IT resources.


IBM's On-Demand Enterprises

Businesses are bracing themselves for the on-demand era by improving efficiency and cutting costs, serving customers better, reducing risks, and improving agility in the marketplace through accelerating process integration and transformation. In the days of e-business on-demand, the way in which technology changes business, and business changes technology, will continue to evolve and these shifts are chicly captured and capitalized for enhancing the goals of business augmentation and customer delight.. The technology environment to achieve on-demand business has to be integrated, open, virtualized, and autonomic. SOA is being touted as the best course of action as far as achieving on-demand businesses is concerned.


Liquid Enterprises

BEA systems has introduced a new computing paradigm named as liquid computing that builds upon SOA with the objective of aligning enterprise interactions with real-time business goals to help companies become service-driven enterprises, ultimately achieving enterprise compatibility, active adaptability and breakthrough productivity. Today's enterprises are constrained by multiple application and data silos resulting in integration problems. Current integration approaches also lead to explosive costs and rigid infrastructures. As a way of alleviating these recurring issues, BEA has postulated this vision and was in the process of crafting next- generation integration platform that promises to help enterprises to efficiently build, deploy, integrate and manage applications and services. With the recent usurp of BEA by Oracle, there is very little information available about the state of liquid computing concepts.

In summary, all the leading infrastructure solutions providers have come out with their own approaches from their historic and practical experiences and lessons for building responsive, resilient, robust and real-time IT infrastructures that are the backbones of any growing enterprise today. One commonality visible in all these endeavors is the smart usage of service orientation principles. SOA has become such a powerful yet elegant model for moderating all kinds of IT complexities towards the establishment of futuristic enterprises.


Entering into the Services World

SOA is a proven approach to system development that maximizes resiliency and reduces redundancy and risks by making commonly used functions dynamically available as shared and evolvable assets. SOA is gripping the worldwide industries that are readying their base architecture to incorporate the path-breaking service orientation features. Applications are redesigned as a open collection of interoperable, reusable and loosely coupled services. Service-enablement of legacy systems is given higher prioritization by CIOs. Modularization, being the prime complexity-mitigation mechanism, is easily and cleanly achieved via services. Service grids, fabrics, clusters, meshes, mashups, composites, and clouds are being formed with the maturity being attained in virtualization, composition, mesh, and grid computing technologies. Grid-enabled services are very famous for their inherent strengths such as high availability, affordability, scalability and performance. Service virtualization in sync with dynamic governance solutions ultimately leads to an autonomic service landscape wherein a pool of services will find one another voluntarily, interact, conceive, construct and deliver desired solutions in minutes.

The process-centricity of SOA enables to segregate process description (model) and the underlying implementation. Another distinction is that business rules, which are bound for frequent chops and changes, get emancipated from the business logic in order to guarantee a kind of dynamism in the realm of service ecosystem. In other words, the embedded business rules are cleanly separated from the source code (service code in this case) and are exposed as a service (Rule as a service (RaaS)). Physical assets are componentized and commoditized by attaching network-accessible service interfaces. Malleability, governability and maintainability are the prominent features for developers, designers and decision-makers to jump into the bandwagon of service engineering. SOA calmly and compactly changes heterogeneity into homogeneity, diversity into uniformity, complexity into simplicity, obscurity into transparency, etc. Services bring in fresh and path-breaking revolutions and revelations towards introducing novel business, operation, pricing, and delivery models.

Reusability and consumability across industries and outside are made possible, interoperability is being realized, composability is another feather in the service era, integration and modernization of application and data silos is being quickened, closed systems are transitioned into open systems etc. Having learned the distinct powers of services that have solidified as the core and stimulating entity for building futuristic applications, enterprises are increasingly leaning on the legendary service principles to add value to their languishing systems. The IT systems are being renovated to keep up with the pace of technological innovations. Business processes are being refined, integrated, and managed to ensure the much-needed business transformation and augmentation. In summary, services are the latest entrant into the IT world. Services have some real and appreciable potential to address many of the ills facing today's IT. The next-generation service technologies are listed below.

  • Next-Generation Service Computing Platforms
  • Service Modeling, Designing and Engineering Techniques
  • Software as a Service (SaaS) & Cloud Computing
  • Service Grids, Clusters, Fabrics, Buses, etc.
  • Service Virtualization and Governance
  • SOA with BPM, Web 2.0, SCA, MDA, EDA, BI etc.
  • REST and Semantic SOA

Entreating Next-Generation Service Technologies

We have written extensively about the promising services technologies, platforms, architectures, patterns, and frameworks in this book. Event driven architecture (EDA) is an evolving and elegant architectural style for calmly capturing and capitalizing business events within and outside in order to establish real-time and responsive enterprise IT. Readers can find more incisive details about this enduring paradigm elsewhere.

In this section, we are to write about the unique features of MDA and how it supplements SOA in resolving the portability, productivity, and sustainability issues of business systems. MDA is being evangelized as the most challenging discipline due to its dramatic and drastic deviation from other approaches. MDA follows a very generic and open style that can be quickly adopted for developing any kind of software in a non-linear fashion. Corporates and service organizations are very much optimistic about the grand success of MDA in speeding and sprucing up the software development process. Automation is the gist and essence behind the overwhelming adoption of MDA and a constellation of automated tools in the form of code generators and cartridges besides implementation, technology and transformation patterns are extensively unwrapped and utilized to gently generate deployable source code from digitalized and formal models.

The eventual goal of any IT division or department within an enterprise is to do business transformation and augmentation through the smart usage of various information technologies. Most of the time, enterprises outsource their IT requirements to IT services organizations. The leading services being offered by worldwide services companies include system construction, integration, and modernization [fig. 1]. Therefore service companies are showing keen interest in MDA in order to cut developmental cost and complexity.


Leveraging Models that facilitate Segregation of Business and Technology Details

The idea is to create comprehensive and platform-independent models (PIMs). These do not possess the underlying platform, middleware, language, protocol and other technology details. If there is a change in the business objective, strategy, and orientation, then the model can be simply modified by business people with the assistance of tools. This model can be imported and exported to any standards-compliant model driven architecture (MDA) toolkit. With the success of artifact-based development, PIMs are being safely stored in an enterprise repository to be searched, reused, amended, fine-tuned, etc.


Figure 1 - The leading activities being subjected to non-linear mechanisms

Model Driven System Construction

Due to the overwhelming response for modularity, a leading complexity-mitigation technique, a typical enterprise application is partitioned into three primary modules: presentation logic, business logic and data access logic. In addition to that, depending on the complexity and non-functional requirements of the system, there can be security, access, connectivity and transaction logic, routing, filtering, mediation, transformation, and flow logic. With the widespread acceptance of SOA, all these logic modules are being exposed as services to be used across domains and even boundaries. The concepts of aspect oriented programming (aspects are cross-cutting concerns that can be easily externalized and injected into the container at the runtime on need basis) come handy in system construction and adaption. In a nutshell, any enterprise system can be architected as a collection of interacting services, aspects, events, composites, messages and agents. The beauty is that all sorts of system building- and connecting-blocks can be automatically derived from PIMs [fig. 2]. Composites are the new entrants into the hot service engineering. Composites are business-aligned, autonomous, self-describing and reusable components. Services facilitate orchestration and choreography that results in real-world and real-time composites that can be leveraged across business units. MDA participates in the process of producing service composites. It is very clear that the scope of MDA pervades to newer domains successfully.


Model-Driven System Modernization (MDM)

Modernization is a huge task as fortune companies host numerous monolithic and mainframe systems coded and constructed using legacy technologies. It is estimated that there are about 200 billion lines of legacy code. Replacing or removing these old systems is not a wise decision as they offer higher throughput and reliability. Re-hosting and renovation are the viable option. The Architecture driven modernization (ADM) initiative of OMG is the model-centric effort for standards-based modernization. Thus MDA paves the way for revitalization of existing applications and for making them more agile, open, and interactive. Finally modernization preserves the ROI and reduces the TCO considerably.


Figure 2 - PIMs to building blocks and to system construction

Model-Driven System Integration

Middleware-based integration has been the prominent way for achieving seamless integration among diverse software modules. Prominently we have EAI hubs and service buses for system integration. With the adoption of clouds for posting applications, cloud or SaaS integration scene is also picking up. Another variety is B2B integration. Thus based on the locality, heterogeneity, and complexity of application modules, appropriate integration platform, practice and process are decided. With formal models emerge as the next-generation building-block for IT systems, model-driven integration too hot up. The model-driven integration development process is depicted in figure 3.


Figure 3 - The model-driven integration development process

Establishing Service Oriented Enterprises (SOEs)

A SOE is an organization that has embraced the service oriented approach as its long-term strategy for planning, developing, and managing information resources. The difference is that SOA focuses on development while SOE incorporates SOA as the foundation for seamlessly aligning IT systems, data, applications and services with the evolving business sentiments.


SOE Vision

It is all about realizing service oriented business applications (SOBAs), dynamic business applications (DBAs), multi-enterprise business applications (MEBAs), cloud applications (CAs), rich enterprise applications (REAs), process innovation through composition, integration and optimization, and service oriented infrastructure (SOI). With the maturity of service paradigm, activities such as service modeling, specification, realization and engineering, service-enablement, service oriented integration, and modernization have pertinently blossomed. Also with the emergence of web 2.0 technologies such as AJAX, Mashups, etc., visually and functionally rich service interfaces and composites will be easily built and rapidly deployed. Besides bringing in exuberance in processes and service engineering, efforts are underway to prepare the lagging IT infrastructures to be service-enabled so that they can be dynamically found, invoked and involved as per the requirements. These will collectively pave the way for realizing service oriented enterprises. The figure 4 vividly illustrates the participants and providers of the SOE vision.


SOE Characteristics

An SOE applies the service concept in a consistent way throughout the organization and on the operational systems. In this context, services are software modules that encapsulate basic business functionality. Well-defined services hide complexity and the low-level details to ensure runtime identification, configurability, accessibility, composability and sustainability. The long-term impacts of service orientation on enterprise IT will be significantly noteworthy. For enterprises to be categorized as service-centric, several transformations and enhancements in application and hardware infrastructures need to see the light. Above all, enterprises ought to think in terms of services and their flows whenever a software or hardware system is getting conceived and constructed.


Figure 4 - The convergence of diverse service buzzwords results in SOEs

Service Orientation leads to Connected, Collaborative and Catalytic Enterprises

As per many case studies and market analyst reports, the maturity being achieved with the acceptance and adoption of SOA by firms is tremendous and it is expected that the futuristic enterprises will heavily benefit out of this transformative and disruptive architectural style that has been well-received by all the leading infrastructure solutions providers. SOA enables enterprises to connect and collaborate to provide complex and end-to-end services to clients, customers and consumers. Services in a globalized and deregulated environment with the mellowed contributions from the pervasive Internet will enable enterprise application integration (EAI), business-to-business (B2B) and cloud integration. Resource sharing and application collaboration are being redefined towards better utilization and productivity. By dismantling all the existing and emerging inflexibilities that block smooth and seamless cooperation among software and hardware entities, the eminent goals of agility, quick recovery if there is any kind of outage, disaster, and loss, reconfigurability, self-management etc. can be realized.


Service Oriented Infrastructure (SOI)

IT infrastructures too are going through this subtle and silent change in order to be connectable, discoverable and extensible platforms for quick and easy service engineering, deployment, execution, and governance. Consolidation and pooling of IT resources through virtualization and grid middleware are expected to achieve reduced TCO and enhanced ROI. Service-centric systems, being modular, will enable higher utilization, load balancing, error tolerance, and high throughput and are bound to play a very stellar role in realizing service oriented enterprises. Thus it has become imperative for existing products to be service-enabled to beneficially join into the service mainstream.


Service Oriented Integration

IT environment of every booming company is clogged by a slew of application and data islands. Systems have become disintegrated and dilapidated as days go by and IT managers in order to offer enhanced performance and high availability are increasingly recommendation of system distribution and decentralization. The complicity of multiple programming languages, protocols, frameworks, programming models, operating systems, and processer architectures lead to heterogeneity-induced complexity. A number of integration approaches, tools, and backbones have been used but the success attained can be termed as partial. SOA with the extensive support from enterprise service bus (ESB) delivers the goal of seamless integration of diverse systems and services.


Embarking on an SOE Realization Methodology

Making the SOE vision a reality requires a well-defined transformation and execution strategies. Service-enabling an enterprise means service-enabling all its contributing constituents. That is, enterprise applications need to be made as a collection of services. IT infrastructures and resources need to be accordingly empowered to be service-centric. Developing a right SOA strategy also depends on the heterogeneity of systems, applications and even the business goals of the enterprise. We propose a viable process [fig. 5] comprising three phases and enterprises have to fulfill the activities mapped for each phase to be classified and called as SOEs.

  1. Plan - This stage include a comprehensive analysis and understanding of the underlying IT ecosystem and the business requirements (short0 and long-term) through extensive modeling. This will facilitate to know the inflexibilities, inefficiencies and redundancies in order to work out the best possible approaches and solutions to make it service-enabled. Legacy applications need to be modernized and migrated to newer platforms using MDA and ADM standards. This phase mainly deals with structural as well as behavioral analysis of existing systems and to decide and design a robust architecture for the proposed service-oriented system. Service oriented analysis and design (SOAD), alternatively referred to as service oriented modeling, is the prominent activity. This phase also includes an optimized transformation plan that identifies the core areas (explained below) where the changes need to inserted. It is important to identify and segregate the critical business functions to be modernized internally or implemented freshly and to determine new or enhanced workflows to drive higher productivity with quality.

    Figure 5 - The SOE realization methodology
  2. Produce - Once a futuristic and flexible service architecture is ready, we need to focus on implementation technologies. There are several ways and means for effective implementation of all the participating and providing services. Besides message passing paradigm has matured and the communication portion gets realized quickly. SCA helps to involve old assets to join in the SOA mainstream. Service oriented composites can be realized by SCA runtimes. ESB is another critical requirement for dynamically find, bind, and access services that can be deployed in disparate and distributed systems. ESB performs message routing, brokering, filtering, and transformation tasks. Software agents come in handy in achieving seamless and spontaneous collaboration, integration and composition of diverse yet related service modules to fulfill human demands. There are SOA testing tools that could do automated testing of various services and their interactions.
  3. Perform - Once we transition the existing systems into an array of discrete services and business-scale composites, they can be customized, installed and configured. Due to the distributed and heterogeneity natures and a large number of services, service virtualization and governance solutions are critical to ensure the success of SOA.

Each contributing IT infrastructure in the service landscape has to be fitted with network-accessible service interface so that other resources on the network or in the neighborhood can automatically find, connect and leverage the infrastructure's unique functionality as a service. A well-defined service interface empowers any infrastructure as service-providing, consuming and brokering unit. Service-enablement brings a sense of simplicity, homogeneity, practicality, reusability and interoperability of any IT resource. Resources can be combined in ad hoc fashion using the much-maligned composition mechanism to form better and aware services. Network accessibility equips any infrastructure to be remotely watched, controlled, coerced and corrected.

In future, our everyday environments will be stuffed with several varieties of embedded, implantable, nomadic, mobile, wearable, and fixed devices in abundance in order to do accurate and 24/7 environmental monitoring. The point is that devices getting exposed as services can unshackle all kinds of infirmities and can collaborate seamlessly in order to understand users' needs precisely and provide the situation-aware services unobtrusively.


Elucidating the Transformation Areas

In order to realize service-centric enterprises, it is mandatory to identify the core areas that have to embrace significant changes and to plan out new enhancements. A typical enterprise has a multitude of diverse IT systems such as communication backbones, software packages, storage, security, and information appliances, and data and services repositories. Experts especially from Intel have recommended several structural and behavioral transformations for these IT resources. Enterprise architecture generally has several layers or tiers as a way of access simplification. Here come the modifications to be enacted on each layer of the standard enterprise stack.

  1. Exposing Data as Services - Composite software has built composite data services that can extract data from different sources, do the necessary transformations on the aggregated data and deliver the cleaned up and modified data as an information service on demand. The point here is that if data associated with distributed and disintegrated enterprise packages get exposed as a service, then the intermediary does the relevant changes by invoking the respective services, and delivers the result as a service. This approach removes heterogeneity-sponsored complexity. Further on, a kind of dynamic mixing, meshing and mashing up happens uninhibitedly to craft business-aware data aggregates. The recent service data object (SDO) specification is bound to become the mainstream approach. Information as a service (IaaS) through data federation technologies is a similar kind of approach.
  2. Virtualization of Hardware Modules - With the soaring and surging popularity of virtualization as an excellent mechanism for internal consolidation, there is a renewed focus on establishing virtualized infrastructures. There are server, storage, operating system, language, and service virtualization methods. There are business and technical benefits out of virtualization initiative and enterprises are optimistically jumping into the bandwagon of creating and sustaining a progressive IT landscape of virtualized resources. Virtualization enables dynamic provisioning, enhanced productivity through optimal utilization, extreme elasticity, affordability etc. On-demand, utility and grid concepts too become critical and crucial for SOEs.
  3. Orchestrating Data Sources - In near future, a variety of smart sensors, invisible RFID labels, actuators, and other miniaturized devices will be deployed in larger quantities in business and other emergency environments as data carriers and extractors. They can create data out of changes in environmental parameters and factors. Also they can automatically and asynchronously respond to real-world events and trigger a chain of actions based on user-defined rules and policies. Distributed and collective intelligence make it possible to filter, aggregate, corroborate, correlate, and interpret data at the point of source so that data in motion will be negligible and their dissemination and management will be simpler. Thus besides a portfolio of support, access, system and infrastructure services that simplify linking the smaller cousins to be productive and contributive, event-driven SOA is the most appropriate mechanism for real-time enterprises.
  4. Services Works across Firewalls - Firewalls are an infrastructural component in any open environment. Services have to be made accessible in a secured fashion for any service users, partners, and developers. Also location-transparency is the prime criteria of services. Thus it is critical that services that could be inside or outside firewalls have to smoothly orchestrate to generate mission-critical enterprise solutions. That is, firewalls should not be a barrier and blockage for spontaneous service collaboration.
  5. Orchestrating Occasionally Connected Devices - Mobile devices could contribute even when disconnected. This requires some special capabilities on the part of the devices to maintain transparent synchronization. The idea is to push services and data to the edge of the network to facilitate distributed intelligence that will lead to real-time decision making.
  6. Process Integration and Transformation - Processes are very vital for any enterprise to survive the heat of competition and to surge ahead dismantling all the bottlenecks. Processes need to be consistently revisited and refined. Further on, processes have to be made affable and amenable enough to undergo integration, innovation and renovation as per technological and business changes.
  7. Events and Models Driven Enterprises - Special infrastructures are needed to handle business events beneficially. Services are empowered to process, trigger and direct events at real-time. That event-driven architecture (EDA) gels well with SOA is a forward-looking phenomenon. Another new yet promising entity is PIMs that can be automatically converted into functional modules. Thus next generation SOA will be accommodating both events and models inherently so that service-driven enterprises will be ready to tackle both business events and models compactly.
  8. Middleware Suite as an Integration Platform - We need reflective and adaptive middleware infrastructure suite that comprises enterprise service bus (ESB), business activity monitoring (BAM), complex event processing (CEP) engine, MDA platform, business process management (BPM), workflow and orchestration engines, composites runtime, and several other containers and bridges. Other critical requirements include autonomic managers, analysis and inference engines, knowledge repository, solutions for policy-based management and service governance, and business, customer, and security intelligence products.

The first step towards service-enablement is to break the large and accumulated monolithic solutions into a set of interactive and flexible modules (services). Then these services can be linked in a loosely coupled manner, which enhances agility and dynamism of the systems. The ubiquitous availability and accessibility of services over the web and scores of standardized protocols facilitating transparent and seamless connectivity among the participants will collectively result in enhanced enterprises. In addition, the reusability of services will definitely contribute in halving application realization cost and time.


Why SOEs?

Undoubtedly it is going to be the service era in which everything will be expressed, exposed and delivered as a service. We have software as a service (SaaS), cloud infrastructure, integration as a service (IaaS), utility model, etc. flowering these days as the solid and stimulating base for the forthcoming era of services. Not only software but also hardware modules too will be viewed as service-emitting units. That the service science has made such a huge and unprecedented impact on enterprise IT is very clear. With the surging popularity of cloud as the most perfect and pertinent service infrastructure and platform, a new buzzword of "cloud as a service" has popped up and it is being pervasively and passionately discussed. In a nutshell, service has become the core and catalytic entity of next-generation IT.

The uniqueness within SOE is its comprehensive support for process composition. As SOA is process-driven, mixing, merging, and managing business processes are getting easier and this spells the resounding success for businesses. There are orchestration and choreography standards, which facilitate predefined as well as dynamic assemblage of dispersed process steps in order to produce lean processes that in turn lead to smart applications rapidly. All the business variations due to changing customers' expectations, compliance requirements and market sentiments can be easily accommodated through this orchestration capability. SOE delivers software and data as well-defined services and organizes hardware as virtualized resources in order to facilitate transparent access for users.

Through service envisioning, assessment and subsequent enablement, companies can bring in a new twist and boost to their business goals, delivery models, and interactions by eliminating complexities and bottlenecks. Simplified integration and management of systems and services will be achieved. Service-enablement transforms the closed and clogged into open systems, integrates diverse data and application silos, enable seamless collaboration among various components, etc. Supply chain is going to be intelligent, productivity goes up, dynamic collaboration among partners, suppliers, retailers, customers and other stakeholders will give deeper visibility and better control. SOEs achieve higher performance, customer and change-centric.


Conclusion

Business establishments are expected to accomplish and deliver more with less. Technology-based solutions and approaches are the most appropriate for compactly fulfilling this expectation. Proven enterprise technologies ensure businesses to be adaptively interactive and responsive. SOA is a full-blown business technology to meet extra requirements and to surmount any shortcomings, enterprises face in their day-to-day operations and obligations. Services have emerged and established as the most subtle and succinct representation that eliminates all the non-essential items and chicly encapsulating the relevant details of business solutions. This trait and tenet enables services to implicitly possess some unique powers that in turn lay explicit and elating base for effective and imaginative programming and assemblage of enterprise-scale systems. With deregulation, decentralization and globalization of businesses are on full swing, SOA brings a host of business and technical advantages (business agility, continuity through disaster recovery methods, powerful and beneficial collaboration, real-time response, customer ecstasy, etc.) for enterprise IT. Enterprises are hence equipping their total IT landscape with next-generation service technologies. Processes, products and even people are made service-aware. Thinking and strategizing in terms of services have started among executives and architects. Service-driven enterprises can achieve increased efficiency via greater reuse of IT assets, faster delivery of value to the business and improved adaptability to gracefully support any expected and non-expected changes.