By Jack Vaughan
A long time ago, integration of various applications, application elements and databases became the main work of application development. Web services and SOA were first discussed in this context: Application architects and developers did not have to write every element from scratch.
Instead they would call in services, in some cases, as needed. These services were usually wrapped in XML and delivered over HTTP. They were called Web services, and were combined sometimes using techniques of service-oriented architecture. A classic example of an early Web service was a stock ticker feed.
With the stock feed, there was no need for you to write it yourself – you called it over HTTP. You could program against such a data service. For example, you might have five competitors’ stock prices feeding on to an executive’s PC screen. Maybe you would correlate this with another fee, say, money exchange rates. The Web services stock feed demo became so common that it became kind of boring.
Fast forward to today. Where B2B is in play, we now share services across corporate boundaries. Other than that, much of the services action still remains within the confines of the operation where components are shared across departments. These shared services bear some conceptual similarity with software object architecture of the ‘90s, although the implementation details are very different. Most discussion of SOA as it has evolved has been about in-house services.
Where are Web stock tickers now? They have become ubiquitous and something of an afterthought. But their siblings continue to grow. What is happening is that a genuine industry is growing up around this Web data services. The providers often have familiar names: Thomson Reuters and D&B, for example. But new entities have emerged such as StrikeIron, which offers a catalog of data services. Let us know what data services have worked for you. What has not worked? What questions do you have on data services?
Cloud computing has a lot to offer a service-oriented architecture. Provisioning resources on demand can cut out hardware costs and increase scalability, multi-tenancy can conserve space and, on some platforms, you never even have to own the hardware you run on.
But to get the most bang for your buck out of cloud computing your application infrastructure needs to be optimized for these sorts of architectures, said Paul Fremantle, CTO at open source middleware provider WSO2. In other words, the application infrastructure needs to be designed for a cloud environment rather than packaged up and ported onto it. Continued »
When HP announced LoadRunner in the Cloud two weeks ago, many took it as validation that enterprise software testing really is a viable use for public cloud computing services. While the offering is currently entering a beta phase, HP will soon make its flagship load testing product available in the on-demand model found in a number of other cloud testing services.
“That was a big, big announcement because HP LoadRunner is the industry standard,” said Theresa Lanowitz, founding analyst of voke Ink., “And it’s no longer going to be cost prohibitive.”
While there are a number of newer vendors offering on-demand test labs for QA teams, Lanowitz said a tech giant like HP only makes such a departure from its traditional licensing model when it feels it has to. Continued »
SOA and middleware over the last few years have proved to be areas full of both innovation and debate. Add the resurgence of BPM and you have a potent mix for any one publication to cover. That’s just one of the reasons we at SearchSOA.com are glad to be working alongside the crew from ebizQ.net, which joined the TechTarget Application Development Media Group in March. Many of the ebizQ.net contributors will be familiar to SearchSOA.com readers. The site is particularly notable for the vivid presence of Joe McKendrick, one of SOA’s more notable pundits. His work is always worth a look-see and read. Continued »
Enterprise architecture (EA) frameworks like The Open Group Architecture Framework (TOGAF) and the Zachman Framework offer powerful reference models through which enterprises can build out infrastructures that try to better align business and IT. Obviously every organization has its own approach to architecture, making it something of a relative concept. But does that mean enterprise architecture is arbitrary?
John Zachman himself recently wrote a post in which he seemed to chide much of the IT world for not treating EA as a serious enough discipline. Continued »
Increasingly, B2B integration involves data made available to business partners over the Web. But despite this “explosion of data” on the Web, IT departments don’t always have the time or resources to integrate and automate the access they need to partner data, said Stefan Andreasen, founder and CTO of Kapow Technologies.
This month, Kapow released Web Data Server (WDS) 7.2, an update to its flagship application used to build, test and deploy data feeds and services that integrate all kinds of Web data into the enterprise infrastructure. In this update, WDS includes a full design studio IDE with a data viewer, native XML support and FTP/file system interaction.
Andreasen said this release represents a three-year effort to merge the company’s RoboMaker and ModelMaker products into one offering. He said the focus was on usability and enterprise compliance.
Software like WDS is useful for enterprises looking to integrate data from partners whose APIs present a significant technical challenge, said Andreasen. Continued »
As SOA applications grow in scale, some enterprises find that having Web services pull data from disk-based databases introduces too much latency. Some enterprises address this issue by giving their services a dedicated caching layer, said Amit Pandey, CEO of application and data scalability provider Terracotta.
On Tuesday, the company released version 2.1 of its open source Ehcache distributed caching software for Java, which it acquired in August of 2009. Pandey said the focus of this release has been adding in more enterprise features like performance monitoring, configurable SLA parameters and improved WebSphere support. Continued »
A recent study by Vanson Bourne Research found that the lion’s share of respondents would prefer to cut IT costs with application modernization (58%) than with IT layoffs (17%), complete application rebuilds (16%) or moving applications into modern programming languages (10%). The survey polled 250 CIOs, IT managers and IT professionals across the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.
With the economic challenges that the past few years have placed on enterprise IT shops, it shouldn’t be surprising that many would rather re-host applications, update user interfaces and tweak some performance bottlenecks than invest in a full overhaul. But what about modernizing with SOA? Continued »
A new alliance between Google and VMware announced at the Google I/O conference this week will allow Spring Java developers to run their applications on Google App Engine.
Google AppEngine was one of the first public cloud platforms to offer support for Java, but the degree to which it supported Java and its libraries was rather limited. Microsoft soon jumped in the fray with its Windows Azure offering – also supporting Java, but not as tightly as C#. Then recently, VMware teamed up with Salesforce.com to bring Spring onto the Force.com cloud platform.
This latest announcement will bring tooling familiar to Spring developers into yet another cloud offering. Continued »
Most industry experts I’ve talked to about SOA governance seem to agree that the top-down approach is something you see at enterprises with mature IT departments that may have already been doing SOA for a while. This made it rather interesting when MuleSoft released a new ESB manager, claiming that a tools-based governance approach works better because it lets developers meet business needs with services in a much more agile fashion. Continued »