Microservices Matters

Jan 11 2011   3:42PM GMT

News on architecture and integration from 2010

James Denman James Denman Profile: James Denman

The SOA Talk blog consistently covers new and interesting developments in the world SOA and enterprise architecture. We gleaned the cream of the crop from all of 2010 for this special on architecture, infrastructure, and application integration.

In February, the push on Wall Street was for systems that turbo-charge aggregation and pricing of financial transactions, order routing, algorithmic trading and market data management. These areas had looked like losing bets in late 2008, when banks and investment houses merged under tremendous financial pressures. But apparently the sleek technology represented by Complex Event Processing (CEP) helped more than a few of these firms recalibrate risk and begin to climb up the financial slope again.

In May we found 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. And yet Zachman’s dreams of a perfect world where enterprise architects all follow a common framework may be no more than a distant hope. Changing business needs, licensing costs, skill availability, M&A, corporate politics and many other factors are all aligned against it.

Randy Carey, a former director of information strategies, developed his own personal philosophy on EAI – buy as much pre-made as possible and then perform tailoring where needed. Likening the process to buying a suit, he says most people can’t afford and don’t need custom-made formal attire but instead can simply have a mass produced product tailored to fit. “In other words you need to figure out where on the cost-curve you want to be,” he said in July.

Newton’s Law seems at times to play out in the IT shop. Every action in software development does seem to create an equal reaction. These thoughts arose in August as we spoke with Shridar Mittal, CEO, ITKO. Mittal told us that, yes, SOA actually is getting adopted out there, that as a result applications are now very integrated and that the work on these apps is more often distributed across multiple teams.

When it comes to issues of cost-benefit analysis, many organizations turn to Gartner for help. The Gartner Magic Quadrant rates technology vendors on completeness of vision and ability to execute, and is much watched in software circles. It uses quadrants to graphically represent leaders in a specific niche and time frame. In November, we examined Gartner’s Magic Quadrants for Application Infrastructure — one for SOA-Style Application Projects and one for Systematic Application Integration Projects.

In December, we took another look at Enterprise Application Integration (EAI) There was a time when EAI was the antithesis of SOA, but EAI is making a bit of a comeback within the SOA firmament. The fact is that it never really went away. The funny thing is that SOA has made a lot of progress in generally integrating all kinds of diverse systems, most notably mainframes. But, in some instances, Web services wrapping of mainframes may be reaching an illogical conclusion. There remain cases where EAI is the more economical alternative.

With 2010 behind us, we’re all looking forward to 2011. No matter what this new year brings, rest assured that we here at SOA Talk will have something to say about it.

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