Home > Articles

  • Print
  • + Share This
This chapter is from the book

3.2 Problems Solved by Service-Orientation

To best appreciate why service-orientation emerged and how it is intended to improve the design of automation systems, we need to compare before and after perspectives. By studying some of the common issues that have historically plagued IT we can begin to understand the solutions proposed by this design paradigm.

Silo-based Application Architecture

In the world of business, delivering solutions capable of automating the execution of business tasks makes a great deal of sense. Over the course of IT’s history, the majority of such solutions have been created with a common approach of identifying the business tasks to be automated, defining their business requirements, and then building the corresponding solution logic (Figure 3.10).

Figure 3.10

Figure 3.10 A ratio of one application for each new set of automation requirements has been common.

This has been an accepted and proven approach to achieving tangible business benefits through the use of technology and has been successful at providing a relatively predictable return on investment (Figure 3.11).

Figure 3.11

Figure 3.11 A sample formula for calculating ROI is based on a predetermined investment with a predictable return.

The ability to gain any further value from these applications is usually inhibited because their capabilities are tied to specific business requirements and processes (some of which will even have a limited lifespan). When new requirements and processes come our way we are forced to either make significant changes to what we already have or build a new application altogether.

In the latter case, although repeatedly building “disposable applications” is not the perfect approach, it has proven itself as a legitimate means of automating business. Let’s explore some of the lessons learned by first focusing on the positive.

  • Solutions can be built efficiently because they only need to be concerned with the fulfillment of a narrow set of requirements associated with a limited set of business processes.

  • The business analysis effort involved with defining the process to be automated is straightforward. Analysts are focused only on one process at a time and therefore only concern themselves with the business entities and domains associated with that one process.

  • Solution designs are tactically focused. Although complex and sophisticated automation solutions are sometimes required, the sole purpose of each is to automate just one or a specific set of business processes. This predefined functional scope simplifies the overall solution design as well as the underlying application architecture.

  • The project delivery lifecycle for each solution is streamlined and relatively predictable. Although IT projects are notorious for being complex endeavors, riddled with unforeseen challenges, when the delivery scope is well-defined (and doesn’t change), the process and execution of the delivery phases have a good chance of being carried out as expected.

  • Building new systems from the ground up allows organizations to take advantage of the latest technology advancements. The IT marketplace progresses every year to the extent that we fully expect technology we use to build solution logic today to be different and better tomorrow. As a result, organizations that repeatedly build disposable applications can leverage the latest technology innovations with each new project.

    These and other common characteristics of traditional solution delivery provide a good indication as to why this approach has been so popular. Despite its acceptance, though, it has become evident that there is still much room for improvement.

It Can Be Highly Wasteful

The creation of new solution logic in a given enterprise commonly results in a significant amount of redundant functionality (Figure 3.12). The effort and expense required to construct this logic is therefore also redundant.

Figure 3.12

Figure 3.12 Different applications developed independently can result in significant amounts of redundant functionality. The applications displayed were delivered with various levels of solution logic that, in some form, already existed.

It’s Not as Efficient as It Appears

Because of the tactical focus on delivering solutions for specific process requirements, the scope of development projects is highly targeted. Therefore, there is the constant perception that business requirements will be fulfilled at the earliest possible time. However, by continually building and rebuilding logic that already exists elsewhere, the process is not as efficient as it could be if the creation of redundant logic could be avoided (Figure 3.13).

Figure 3.13

Figure 3.13 Application A was delivered for a specific set of business requirements. Because a subset of these business requirements had already been fulfilled elsewhere, Application A’s delivery scope is larger than it has to be.

It Bloats an Enterprise

Each new or extended application adds to the bulk of an IT environment’s system inventory (Figure 3.14). The ever-expanding hosting, maintenance, and administration demands can inflate an IT department in budget, resources, and size to the extent that IT becomes a significant drain on the overall organization.

Figure 3.14

Figure 3.14 This simple diagram portrays an enterprise environment containing applications with redundant functionality. The net effect is a larger enterprise.

It Can Result in Complex Infrastructures and Convoluted Enterprise Architectures

Having to host numerous applications built from different generations of technologies and perhaps even different technology platforms often requires that each will impose unique architectural requirements. The disparity across these “siloed” applications can lead to a counter-federated environment (Figure 3.15), making it challenging to plan the evolution of an enterprise and scale its infrastructure in response to that evolution.

Figure 3.15

Figure 3.15 Different application environments within the same enterprise can introduce incompatible runtime platforms as indicated by the shaded zones.

Integration Becomes a Constant Challenge

Applications built only with the automation of specific business processes in mind are generally not designed to accommodate other interoperability requirements. Making these types of applications share data at some later point results in a jungle of convoluted integration architectures held together mostly through point-to-point patchwork (Figure 3.16) or requiring the introduction of large middleware layers.

Figure 3.16

Figure 3.16 A vendor-diverse enterprise can introduce a variety of integration challenges, as expressed by the little lightning bolts that highlight points of concern when trying to bridge proprietary environments.

The Need for Service-Orientation

After repeated generations of traditional distributed solutions, the severity of the previously described problems has been amplified. This is why service-orientation was conceived. It very much represents an evolutionary state in the history of IT in that it combines successful design elements of past approaches with new design elements that leverage conceptual and technology innovation.

The consistent application of the eight design principles we listed earlier results in the widespread proliferation of the corresponding design characteristics:

  • increased consistency in how functionality and data is represented

  • reduced dependencies between units of solution logic

  • reduced awareness of underlying solution logic design and implementation details

  • increased opportunities to use a piece of solution logic for multiple purposes

  • increased opportunities to combine units of solution logic into different configurations

  • increased behavioral predictability

  • increased availability and scalability

  • increased awareness of available solution logic

When these characteristics exist as real parts of implemented services they establish a common synergy. As a result, the complexion of an enterprise changes as the following distinct qualities are consistently promoted.

Increased Amounts of Reusable Solution Logic

Within a service-oriented solution, units of logic (services) encapsulate functionality not specific to any one application or business process (Figure 3.17). These services are therefore classified as reusable (and agnostic) IT assets.

Figure 3.17

Figure 3.17 Business processes are automated by a series of business process–specific services (top layer) that share a pool of business process–agnostic services (bottom layer). These layers correspond to service models described in Chapter 5.

Reduced Amounts of Application-Specific Logic

Increasing the amount of solution logic not specific to any one application or business process decreases the amount of required application-specific (or “non-agnostic”) logic (Figure 3.18). This blurs the lines between standalone application environments by reducing the overall quantity of standalone applications. (See the Service-Orientation and the Concept of “Application” section later in this chapter.)

Figure 3.18

Figure 3.18 Business Process A can be automated by either Application A or Service Composition A. The delivery of Application A can result in a body of solution logic that is all specific to and tailored for the business process. Service Composition A would be designed to automate the process with a combination of reusable services and 40% of additional logic specific to the business process.

Reduced Volume of Logic Overall

The overall quantity of solution logic is reduced because the same solution logic is shared and reused to automate multiple business processes, as shown in Figure 3.19.

Figure 3.19

Figure 3.19 The quantity of solution logic shrinks as an enterprise transitions toward a standardized service inventory comprised of “normalized” services. (Service normalization is explained further at the end of Chapter 5.)

Inherent Interoperability

Common design characteristics consistently implemented result in solution logic that is naturally aligned. When this carries over to the standardization of service contracts and their underlying data models, a base level of automatic interoperability is achieved across services, as illustrated in Figure 3.20. (See the Service-Orientation and the Concept of “Integration” section later in this chapter.)

Figure 3.20

Figure 3.20 Services from different parts of a service inventory can be combined into new compositions. If these services are designed to be intrinsically interoperable, the effort to assemble them into new composition configurations is significantly reduced.

  • + Share This
  • 🔖 Save To Your Account

InformIT Promotional Mailings & Special Offers

I would like to receive exclusive offers and hear about products from InformIT and its family of brands. I can unsubscribe at any time.

Overview


Pearson Education, Inc., 221 River Street, Hoboken, New Jersey 07030, (Pearson) presents this site to provide information about products and services that can be purchased through this site.

This privacy notice provides an overview of our commitment to privacy and describes how we collect, protect, use and share personal information collected through this site. Please note that other Pearson websites and online products and services have their own separate privacy policies.

Collection and Use of Information


To conduct business and deliver products and services, Pearson collects and uses personal information in several ways in connection with this site, including:

Questions and Inquiries

For inquiries and questions, we collect the inquiry or question, together with name, contact details (email address, phone number and mailing address) and any other additional information voluntarily submitted to us through a Contact Us form or an email. We use this information to address the inquiry and respond to the question.

Online Store

For orders and purchases placed through our online store on this site, we collect order details, name, institution name and address (if applicable), email address, phone number, shipping and billing addresses, credit/debit card information, shipping options and any instructions. We use this information to complete transactions, fulfill orders, communicate with individuals placing orders or visiting the online store, and for related purposes.

Surveys

Pearson may offer opportunities to provide feedback or participate in surveys, including surveys evaluating Pearson products, services or sites. Participation is voluntary. Pearson collects information requested in the survey questions and uses the information to evaluate, support, maintain and improve products, services or sites, develop new products and services, conduct educational research and for other purposes specified in the survey.

Contests and Drawings

Occasionally, we may sponsor a contest or drawing. Participation is optional. Pearson collects name, contact information and other information specified on the entry form for the contest or drawing to conduct the contest or drawing. Pearson may collect additional personal information from the winners of a contest or drawing in order to award the prize and for tax reporting purposes, as required by law.

Newsletters

If you have elected to receive email newsletters or promotional mailings and special offers but want to unsubscribe, simply email information@informit.com.

Service Announcements

On rare occasions it is necessary to send out a strictly service related announcement. For instance, if our service is temporarily suspended for maintenance we might send users an email. Generally, users may not opt-out of these communications, though they can deactivate their account information. However, these communications are not promotional in nature.

Customer Service

We communicate with users on a regular basis to provide requested services and in regard to issues relating to their account we reply via email or phone in accordance with the users' wishes when a user submits their information through our Contact Us form.

Other Collection and Use of Information


Application and System Logs

Pearson automatically collects log data to help ensure the delivery, availability and security of this site. Log data may include technical information about how a user or visitor connected to this site, such as browser type, type of computer/device, operating system, internet service provider and IP address. We use this information for support purposes and to monitor the health of the site, identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents and appropriately scale computing resources.

Web Analytics

Pearson may use third party web trend analytical services, including Google Analytics, to collect visitor information, such as IP addresses, browser types, referring pages, pages visited and time spent on a particular site. While these analytical services collect and report information on an anonymous basis, they may use cookies to gather web trend information. The information gathered may enable Pearson (but not the third party web trend services) to link information with application and system log data. Pearson uses this information for system administration and to identify problems, improve service, detect unauthorized access and fraudulent activity, prevent and respond to security incidents, appropriately scale computing resources and otherwise support and deliver this site and its services.

Cookies and Related Technologies

This site uses cookies and similar technologies to personalize content, measure traffic patterns, control security, track use and access of information on this site, and provide interest-based messages and advertising. Users can manage and block the use of cookies through their browser. Disabling or blocking certain cookies may limit the functionality of this site.

Do Not Track

This site currently does not respond to Do Not Track signals.

Security


Pearson uses appropriate physical, administrative and technical security measures to protect personal information from unauthorized access, use and disclosure.

Children


This site is not directed to children under the age of 13.

Marketing


Pearson may send or direct marketing communications to users, provided that

  • Pearson will not use personal information collected or processed as a K-12 school service provider for the purpose of directed or targeted advertising.
  • Such marketing is consistent with applicable law and Pearson's legal obligations.
  • Pearson will not knowingly direct or send marketing communications to an individual who has expressed a preference not to receive marketing.
  • Where required by applicable law, express or implied consent to marketing exists and has not been withdrawn.

Pearson may provide personal information to a third party service provider on a restricted basis to provide marketing solely on behalf of Pearson or an affiliate or customer for whom Pearson is a service provider. Marketing preferences may be changed at any time.

Correcting/Updating Personal Information


If a user's personally identifiable information changes (such as your postal address or email address), we provide a way to correct or update that user's personal data provided to us. This can be done on the Account page. If a user no longer desires our service and desires to delete his or her account, please contact us at customer-service@informit.com and we will process the deletion of a user's account.

Choice/Opt-out


Users can always make an informed choice as to whether they should proceed with certain services offered by InformIT. If you choose to remove yourself from our mailing list(s) simply visit the following page and uncheck any communication you no longer want to receive: www.informit.com/u.aspx.

Sale of Personal Information


Pearson does not rent or sell personal information in exchange for any payment of money.

While Pearson does not sell personal information, as defined in Nevada law, Nevada residents may email a request for no sale of their personal information to NevadaDesignatedRequest@pearson.com.

Supplemental Privacy Statement for California Residents


California residents should read our Supplemental privacy statement for California residents in conjunction with this Privacy Notice. The Supplemental privacy statement for California residents explains Pearson's commitment to comply with California law and applies to personal information of California residents collected in connection with this site and the Services.

Sharing and Disclosure


Pearson may disclose personal information, as follows:

  • As required by law.
  • With the consent of the individual (or their parent, if the individual is a minor)
  • In response to a subpoena, court order or legal process, to the extent permitted or required by law
  • To protect the security and safety of individuals, data, assets and systems, consistent with applicable law
  • In connection the sale, joint venture or other transfer of some or all of its company or assets, subject to the provisions of this Privacy Notice
  • To investigate or address actual or suspected fraud or other illegal activities
  • To exercise its legal rights, including enforcement of the Terms of Use for this site or another contract
  • To affiliated Pearson companies and other companies and organizations who perform work for Pearson and are obligated to protect the privacy of personal information consistent with this Privacy Notice
  • To a school, organization, company or government agency, where Pearson collects or processes the personal information in a school setting or on behalf of such organization, company or government agency.

Links


This web site contains links to other sites. Please be aware that we are not responsible for the privacy practices of such other sites. We encourage our users to be aware when they leave our site and to read the privacy statements of each and every web site that collects Personal Information. This privacy statement applies solely to information collected by this web site.

Requests and Contact


Please contact us about this Privacy Notice or if you have any requests or questions relating to the privacy of your personal information.

Changes to this Privacy Notice


We may revise this Privacy Notice through an updated posting. We will identify the effective date of the revision in the posting. Often, updates are made to provide greater clarity or to comply with changes in regulatory requirements. If the updates involve material changes to the collection, protection, use or disclosure of Personal Information, Pearson will provide notice of the change through a conspicuous notice on this site or other appropriate way. Continued use of the site after the effective date of a posted revision evidences acceptance. Please contact us if you have questions or concerns about the Privacy Notice or any objection to any revisions.

Last Update: November 17, 2020