Enterprise Architecture Applications and Service Oriented Architecture

1.      Executive Summary

Service Oriented Structure is normally taken as a Web services standard that aims to achieve better application integration within in an enterprise, however Service Oriented Architecture has become an integral part of  the business transformation process. Service Oriented Architecture is the cost saving method and the enterprises are always looking for the implementation of effective and cost saving methods. It means  that it is not only the integration of application but it is now used for the digital world implementation for your business. The enterprise architecture is important for every enterprise and organization and then they both are considered to be the complementary. The enterprise architecture needs a service oriented architecture for its successful completion as it is implemented according to the scope set by enterprise architecture.

There are times when the enterprise needs to perform asynchronous tasks and at a low cost and in an effective way, service oriented architecture is the only most adequate option available. Because of the cost saving solution, a report says that more than 62% of enterprises are using Service Oriented Architecture by the end of 2007. There are almost 40% of the enterprises who prefer to use Service Oriented Architecture for strategic business transformation.

Enterprise architecture needs to implement an architecture that can allow the interoperability between applications designed in different languages. Service oriented architecture is best to be implemented in larger organizations and enterprises when they need to connect different departments of their enterprise. The implementation of Service Oriented Architecture also good when heterogeneous stacks are to be programmed.

2.      Explain what is Service Oriented Architecture?
a.                  Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Service oriented architecture was first coined by Yefim V. Natis in his research paper in 1996. But SOA did not get much fame till 2001 or till the internet usage become popular among users. Then later in 2001 capital products like UDDI evolved that opened gates for service oriented architecture.

Raghu defines service oriented architecture as it is an evolution process in distributed computing that is basically based on  the request/reply method for different applications that are synchronous or asynchronous (2005). It means that service oriented architecture is a set of methodologies that are used to develop software that can be used in interoperable services. In organizations there are different departments working under one umbrella and each department’s software may be written in different language. The service oriented structure enables different software to work with other software. Service oriented architecture is a way to separate functions in single units that can be easily used in a network or reused when needed (Bell, 2008).

Christopher explains the basic benefit of SOA or service oriented architecture; and that is it enables the business to respond quickly to changes in the organization environment (2005).

3.                  What is the overall effect of ‘SOA’ on EA practice?
a.                  Enterprise Architecture (EA)

The Enterprise architecture started back in 1960 with the starting of information architecture. The information architecture was formed by the work of P. Duane (Dewey) Walker. Later in 1994, influenced by Zachman’s thinking United State’s DoD created a framework named as Technical Architecture Framework for Information Management (TAFIM). Today, there are many frameworks for enterprise architecture that are influenced by the thinking of Zachman.

Enterprise architecture can be defined as a framework for an organization to manage its information technology assets, operations and other things so that a new vision can be defined for future strategies of the company. In the other words enterprise architecture is the vision of the organization that is converted into its effective change by focusing on the key principles and requirements which are mostly defining the future of an organization. The person who controls all the processing and drawing conclusion from gathering information is called the architect for this information technology system. From the definitions it is right to say that enterprise architect is the way in which information and technology support the organization and providing benefits for the organization. It is important to note that there is no single enterprise architecture but an amalgam of interrelated architectures. Here is a simple diagram for enterprise architecture.

Before creating enterprise architecture for an organization it is important to first define a scope for it. Once the scope or boundary of the organization is defined in well and clear manner then it is easy to work on enterprise architecture for that organization because the scope or boundaries of different organizations. The scope is the main step in creating enterprise architecture; if the scope is not defined then enterprise architecture will not be beneficial for the organization. Enterprise architecture defines some of the basic missions of the organization that are guiding principles, organization structure, business process, stakeholders, applications, data, and technologies forming the system and network for organizations (Giachetti, 2010). Enterprise architecture enables the organization to respond quickly to the changes it finds in the operating organization environment.

b.                  The relation between Enterprise Architecture (EA) and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)

Enterprise architecture and service oriented architecture shared some common goals for the organizations, however there are distinct goals attached to each organization. We can say that both these architectures are important for the growth and benefits of the organizations. Clearly speaking Enterprise architecture is basically used to align business from a prospective point and on the other hand service oriented architecture is used align business and IT from a technology point of view (Kistasamy, Der Merwe and La Harpe). Enterprise architecture focuses more on the creation of the planning for the organization while service oriented architecture is meant to be implemented after the creation of proper planning (Linthicum, 2008). The major difference between enterprise architecture and service oriented architecture is that EA is a well defined process and principles that are very hard to be defined within a service oriented architecture. The following diagram shows the maturity level of Service oriented Architecture and Enterprise Architecture.

 

C.                  Effects of Service Oriented Architecture on Enterprise Architecture

Here is a detail of effects of service oriented architecture of EA. As the service oriented architecture works on the plan created by enterprise architecture. In an organization, the importance of service oriented organization cannot be nullified. For this purpose we will consider the application developed by Oracle for service oriented application and see how it affects the functioning of enterprise architecture. Service oriented architecture helps in better functioning of enterprise architecture.

For this purpose we have developed a Dynamic business model following the canvas developed by Lean Canvas. The following dynamic business model will identify the areas where the change should be applied within the organization.

 

As this dynamic business model highlights the problems in the enterprise are that looking for the most effective way to reduce costs and make the enterprise architect strong. The both targets can be achieved easily by implementing Service oriented architecture within the IT sector of the organization. As the enterprise architect focuses on the planning about the architect, then there is a need for the implementation and that is possible by Service oriented architecture.

  1. What are the business management and architectural (‘technical’/ organizational) aspects of
    introducing Service Oriented Architecture?

With the increasing advancements in technology and its usage in organization and companies is evolving new methods for the betterment of business. So there is a need to look deep into the usage of service oriented architecture in the organization. While discussing this point we will come across different questions like why to use SOA? Where to use SOA? There are many other questions related to the business management and architectural aspects of service oriented architecture.

a.                  Why use Service Oriented Architecture (SOA)?

The most basic question regarding the usage of service oriented architecture is that why to use service oriented architecture in the organization? There are many reasons for the usage of service oriented architecture in the organization. The basic reason for using SOA is that is cost saving. The reason is that if you have developed a service that can be re-used then you will need not to invest money on the implementation of services again and again.

The other reason for the usage of SOA is the increasing usage of web services. As Vallaeys, P. says that if the companies are developing web services, if they lack an over reaching architecture, it may give rise to very serious problems. For example a web service is incorporated into another application, and then the application is changed without the knowledge of the developer. SOA is the way that it can increase flexibility of a business and adopt things more quickly (Vallaeys, P.).

Another analyst says that web services are being to solve “point to point integration” but as there are hundreds of integrations are involved so there is a need of using service oriented architecture (Jason Bloomberg).

b.                  When to use Service Oriented Architecture?

The service oriented architecture will be implemented when the enterprises will prefer to interlink all the departments working under the same umbrella. The enterprise architect will help in the planning that will enable the interoperability of different programs written in different languages. The question in this regard is that in which scenarios we should use service oriented architecture. The best possible situation to use service oriented architecture is when we need to use asynchronous actions. If there is no need to perform asynchronous actions then the best way is to move directly to the database.

The service orientation architecture should be used for large scale enterprise system in which there is need to develop a shared services facility within the organization.

When the organization is looking to reduce the cost of doing business then they should use SOA.

The other case when we should use service oriented architecture is when we want to integrate heterogeneous technology stack. It means that when you need to interconnect different systems like sales system, warehouse system then you should use service oriented architecture.

c.                   Who would be responsible for initiating the necessary change?

While implementing a service oriented architecture and start to hope that it will be successful is not enough for any organization. For this there is a need for a set of people; who are authoritative enough; to make changes in defining problems and executing solutions for that. To fulfill this purpose a council is there named as SOA Governance council who are capable enough to understand the business operation of their respective business unit and they can understand SOA. The persons with a strong understanding of SOA in the organization are needed who can easily identify business services and make developments in them when needed. The head of SOA Governance will be responsible for initiating these changes to be made in the organization.

For this purpose we have designed a dynamic business model using GERAM structure. The following dynamic business model will help in the understanding about the following questions, who will be reponsible, when should the SOA be implemented etc.

Dynamic Business Model Lifecycle Using GERAM

 

There is also a need for a person who will be responsible for funding. This task will be performed by an executive chairperson who is experienced as it is not an easy task. The difficulty level of this task is that the funding will not be coming from once source. But other business units will participate for funding initiative.

d. Where (in which part of the organization) would this type of change have to be applied? Expected impact of change, including risk.

When service oriented architecture is adopted by any organization, it changes the design of the working of the organization as the focus is converted to technology and business solution (Silverstone, Y. and Nichols, D., 2007). However these days most of the organizations are working according to the working of their software and the structure of business applications. In this way the roles are defined by the service oriented architecture. With its implementation, organization design, governance and accountability are mostly affected. Moving to this point SOA requires new service structure and their underlying applications.

When the organizations adopt SOA then they must invoke change management activities as it will help in the risk mitigation plan. The change management activities in an enterprise are an essential part of service oriented architecture. There are organizations as well who have good knowledge about change management, so they easily process through this task.

i.                    How will the problem be approached organizationally?

The service oriented architecture needs to be implemented within the organization and there is a need for some basic tools that will be utilized in this practice. This process will be implemented by following the guidelines set by Oracle software. A department will be made in order to perform different tasks and teams will be working. This all implementation and working will be done under the governance of SOA team. The team will first identify the need for the implementation of SOA and what will be the positive effects of the implementations of SOA. The governance of SOA will be looking after all the tasks and create the programs for the implementations. He will assign tasks to different team members for creating current and future state architectures. A proper design will be made and a procedure that will highlight how the implementation will be carried out and the entities that will be involved. Once final design will be crafted then the implementation will follow EA guidelines. A proper strategic roadmap will be carried out showing the sequence of implementations.

For this purpose Oracle has developed a process that enables the easy creation of architecture. This process is called Oracle Application Development Process (OADP). The basic parts of this development process are Current state architecture, future state architecture, Strategic roadmap, EA governance and Business case. The following diagram illustrates the model used for applying EA using SOA to an organization.

ii.                  Dynamic Business Model with Entities Involved

The following business model will identify all the entities that will be required to implement SOA in Enterprise Architecture. The basic entities that will play their role in the implementation of SOA are Projects , a team that will be supervised by SOA executive, programs and the enterprise entities. Each entity will perform their work and when they will deploy their own section, the output will be given to the next entity in order to complete the implementation. Each entity will follow the same pattern of the dynamic business model.

As the management initiates the implementation then the engineering management works on the implementation of plans by looking at the requirements and then implements its entity. All these entities are implemented one after the other for the implementation of SOA in EA. The current stats architecture builds the current architecture for enterprise and then the result is given to future state architecture.

iii.                Current State Architecture

The first step in this process is a current state architecture that is also called rationalizing services. The process of rationalization is meant to streamline the recent services with the aim to cut down costs. The rationalization process includes the standardization a common set of services that will be utilized for the organization. The next step in this regard is the consolidation of service that usually provides the same functionality. After the consolidation of services there is needed to optimize the services that can be reused and provide highest expected performance for service oriented architecture. The last step in rationalization is the elimination of services that are duplicates to available services and do not play an efficient role in SOA.

iv.                Future State Architecture

The next step in OADP is a future state architecture that is to build a shared service infrastructure. There are organizations in which only identifying shared services is not enough because they may have organizational and regulatory requirements that may be a hurdle in the centralized nature of services. In order to the standardization of services in organization without violating the regulations of an organization, there must be a shared infrastructure.

v.                  Strategic Roadmap

There is a need for creation of a roadmap to transform existing services. In this process consolidation of services is important that will help in eliminating duplicate and inefficient services.

vi.                Enterprise Architecture Governance

While looking at the current and future state architecture, the consolidation process is involved but for the elimination of duplicate services governance is required. Enterprise architecture governance helps in the implementation of business objectives through enterprise architecture. It helps as a guide for each project with IT during the transformation implementations. There are elements that are required for the successful implementation of enterprise architecture governance and that are People, processes, technology and finance. In this process if the board plays the most important role then there will be no duplication in the future.

vii.              Business Case

While talking about architecture, then the business must clearly define the business case for future state architecture. The successful business case can be developed only by considering the current state architecture of an organization. This cost of organization includes development and maintenance of current state architecture.

 

5.                  Reference:
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Image Reference

  1. Knippel, R. (2005). Service Oriented Enterprise Architecture. IT – University of Copenhagen.
  2. Covington, R. (2009). Maximizing SOA Returns with Enterprise Architecture. Oracle
  3. Finneran, T. (1998). Enterprise Architecture: What and Why? Retrieved September 8, 2012 from http://www.tdan.com/view-articles/5041/
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