How to Use This Book
This book is the first of a pair of closely related books on SOA and total architecture. This book is targeted at the enterprise leadership community. Its purpose is to illustrate why total architecture is critical to enterprise success and the roles that the leadership team must play to make SOA work. The second book is aimed at SOA architects. Its purpose is to arm project and enterprise architects with the knowledge and tools they need to build and manage the enterprise's total architecture.
This book, Succeeding with SOA, presents service-oriented architecture from the management perspective. It illustrates what can happen to enterprise business processes and projects when elements of the total architecture are neglected. It explores the deepening reliance of business processes on information systems and the resulting need to keep SOA projects focused on achieving well-defined business objectives within cost and schedule guidelines. It examines the challenges posed by organizational structures and shows how paying attention to five key leadership roles can bring the SOA focus to the enterprise without requiring significant reorganization.
This book also shows how a SOA architecture group can provide continuity and consistency across projects while maintaining an overall focus on enterprise objectives such as reaping the benefits of service-oriented architectures. It explores how the robustness of business processes can be improved by paying attention to the simple structure of the interservice dialog within the process. It illustrates how an understanding of business risk can be used to guide investments in fault tolerance and high availability. It outlines an agile approach to SOA that can efficiently produce a robust architecture, with accurate early determination as to whether the business objectives can be achieved within the cost and schedule guidelines. Finally, it looks at successfully structuring, initiating, and executing SOA projects with the total architecture perspective.
Succeeding with SOA will be followed shortly by a second book, SOA in Practice: Implementing Total Architecture. This companion volume is the how-to book for SOA architects. Although the book is organized as a progression of issues that the project architect must address, each chapter also discusses the related activities of the enterprise SOA architecture group. It explores the modeling of business processes and the information they depend on and discusses nonfunctional requirements in the context of the business processes to which they pertain. It covers service-oriented architecture, starting with the high-level structuring problem, and then adds successive levels of detail pertaining to communications, data, coordination, breakdown detection, high availability, fault tolerance, load distribution, security, and monitoring.
The companion volume discusses architecture evaluation, detailing the architecture with specifications, and the role the architect must play in testing. It then delves into some of the more complex aspects of a service-oriented architecture: complex business processes, business process monitoring, business process management and workflow, and large-scale business services. It concludes with a summary discussion of the SOA architecture group, the role it plays, and the challenges it faces.
You can use these books in two very different ways. One way is prescriptive. Together, the two volumes present a structured approach that you can use to organize and conduct both individual projects and an overall service-oriented architecture effort. The other way is as an assessment and review guideline. Each chapter addresses a specific topic and concludes with a list of key questions related to that topic. You can use these questions as a self-evaluation guide for your current projects and SOA efforts. Then you can use the body of the chapter to understand more about the specific issues and the various ways in which they can be addressed. Either approach will improve your enterprise's total architecture.