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More SOA Transition Bang for Your IT Bucks

Part 1 - Securing SOA transition funding made easy

This article explains how an Open Source SOA Roadmap can use a typical Web application project's funding as the basis for a successful SOA transition effort. It is the first of three articles that explains how open source technologies and techniques can be leveraged to successfully deliver SOA solutions given the current economic downturn.

The pain of these economic times is real. Staying competitive and thriving today means you must "think outside the box" to manage costs and exploit opportunities like never before. Most IT shops are currently in the commercial SOA box. A box where the transition of enterprise architecture to a service-oriented enterprise architecture is accomplished by commercial technologies and techniques. It typically costs millions of dollars to fund a commercial SOA transition versus thousands of dollars for an open source SOA transition governed by an Open Source SOA Roadmap.

The commercial SOA box also contains missed business opportunities because of the high costs of commercial SOA transitions and slow delivery of tangible business value. For these reasons, the "out-of-the-box" thinking encapsulated in open source SOA roadmaps was born.

In this series of articles I'll show you how SOA and open source technologies/techniques when governed by an Open Source SOA Roadmap can:

  • Slash ongoing operational costs such as maintenance and license fees
  • Leverage reusable and configurable services to deliver software faster
  • Eliminate multiple payments for the same software.
  • Avoid the "big up-front design/waterfall thinking" that slows the delivery of SOA software solutions.
  • Address open source hidden costs.

We will also show you how Open Source SOA Roadmaps address roadblocks to SOA adoption such as:

  • Resolution of stakeholder conflict of interest
  • Securing active support of top management, i.e., SOA backers
  • And the main topic of this article - securing a budget for a SOA transition.

Open Source SOA Roadmaps Defined
An Open Source SOA Roadmap is a SOA governance stone that kills two birds - spaghetti enterprise architectures and endless middleware license fees.

A spaghetti enterprise architecture consists of applications that are "silos" of information. Spaghetti enterprise architectures can't adapt easily to new business requirements because flexibility was not a design consideration. The prime reason why modifications are time-consuming and expensive is due to the inflexibility of a spaghetti enterprise architecture. The business impact of an inflexible enterprise architecture is missed business opportunities.

An Open Source SOA Roadmap is a plan of action to transition your organization's IT enterprise architecture from a spaghetti enterprise architecture to an integrated enterprise service-oriented architecture - where that SOA enterprise architecture has been designed for flexibility. The business impact of a SOA enterprise architecture is exploited business opportunities.

An Open Source SOA Roadmap is also a plan of action to transition to  license-free open source technologies for the creation and execution of SOA solutions. Therefore, the business impact of a SOA enterprise architecture built from and running on open source technologies is a reduction in license fees.

Open Source SOA Roadmaps are a mechanism for realizing IT investments early and often. They transition the IT organization from massive projects with delayed delivery of business value to small projects with immediate delivery of business value. Open Source SOA Roadmaps also enable the enterprise architecture to incrementally transition to an integrated enterprise service-oriented architecture. That is, because an Open Source SOA Roadmap can encapsulate other Open Source SOA Roadmaps, and each roadmap encapsulates projects, an Open Source SOA Roadmap reduces the scope of SOA initiatives down to small increments.

Open Source SOA Roadmaps are reliable because they are concrete instances of an Open Source SOA Roadmap patterns (a pattern for a transition that has proven reliable) versus a conceptual conjecture roadmap. Open Source SOA Roadmaps are a new software engineering construct that has been introduced by the GRASE (pronounced "grace") software development methodology. GRASE has diagrams and documents that have been designed to express Open Source SOA Roadmaps.

More Stories By Robert J. Williams Jr.

Robert J. Williams Jr is Chief Enterprise Architect at Maxworks. He is an Enterprise Architect with 30 years experience that includes the Unix development team and Software Technology Centers at Bell Labs to the Architecture IPT Lead for the US Army's DCGS-A project (an Intel SOA project). He has been using ESBs / Web Services to develop SOA Solutions since 2004. He has developed distributed/ service oriented solutions since 1996 (Bell Lab's version of CORBA) and is a certified Rational Consultant.

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