Thursday, May 15, 2008

Suppressing Complexity in Software-Oriented Architectures

Ways to suppress complexity in software-oriented architectures was the topic of the SOA Governance Summit held by Software AG in New York City on May 14.
Software AG executives discussed three main things to remember when dealing with SOA: focus on the organization’s capabilities, decouple providers from consumers, and have end-to-end visibility.
Organizations should think of SOA environments in terms of their own capabilities, and not product categories, Software AG executives said. They also pointed out four capabilities organizations should have: service enablement, which allows the creation of new services from existing applications, service orchestration, service mediation, which helps consumers and providers find each other, and service management.
“If you only take one thing from this conference, it should be decoupling providers from consumers,” Jignesh Shah, Software AG’s senior director of SOA product management, told attendees in the Marriot Marquis in Times Square.
Shah said that providers should be decoupled from consumers from the get-go. This is important to do because quality of service, implementation technologies and functional requirements will change over time, and it is important to have the ability to evolve. Decoupling the parts will provide a “shield” against potential problems when those changes occur.
Miko Matsumura, vice president and deputy CTO of Software AG, spoke about a new SOA paradigm that deals with the “management of constraint.” He said IT people are sensitive to capacity and there are new ways of sharing capacity.
These ways include the service concept, with a single service being used for multiple use cases. With a business service, an organization can have two or more different processes. The other way, he said, is virtualization, where one or more boxes can occupy a single physical body.
“From the perspective of people in the infrastructure management business, I think the thing to appreciate is that we’re moving into an era of non-linear utilization,” Matsumura said. “One of the properties of SOA that creates this is the whole reuse and dependency model, which is this notion that a single service gets reused by other services. If user A increases their use of the service, and then you have user B increasing their use of the same service, then you start adding users, the curve of utilization is no longer linear.”
--Jeff Feinman

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