Editor’s note: You have likely heard about SOA, or service oriented architecture, but not the underlying details about the concept. Local Tech Wire asked InCentric Solutions, an IBM business partner, to fill in LTW readers. Holly Neal is marketing director at InCentric Solutions.
_______________________________________________________________________________________IBM’s Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) provides a flexible, robust infrastructure to model, assemble, deploy and manage business processes.

It’s cost-effective, modular and scalable which means you can implement an end-to-end SOA solutions customized to your requirements, when you want and how you want.

SOA allows business processes to be decomposed into discrete services. These services can then be delivered however best for the customer. Services, once assembled and deployed as running processes are monitored and assessed by business process management practices.

Business Process Management then provides the feedback required to flexibly adapt processes to meet changing business needs.

Business Process Management supported by SOA is critical to IBM Business partners because it:

  • Maximizes return on assets by enabling the reuse of a partner’s and other developed business processes

  • Provides partners with new engagement opportunities to rapidly build on and optimize customer existing business processes

  • It enables partners to expand the penetration in customer’s IT environments even when customers are undergoing mergers or acquiring other companies.

  • Improves customer satisfaction with partner’s solution by improving the predictability for solution’s impact on customers business processes
  • SOA brings together Business Processes and the technologies required to implement them. This is important to IBM Business Partners because increasingly customers are making technology decisions exclusively on business requirements. SOA offers the traditional technology providers the ability to demonstrate their solution’s value directly to line of business management.

    An open integrated platform based on open standards is a critical enabler for SOA because without open standards assembling discrete services from different sources into end-to-end processes would be impossible. Without standards or best practices as a guide, many companies have developed their business processes bit-by-bit, piece-by-piece, over time. Or perhaps they’ve focused on solving specific, ad hoc issues. The outcome has been an infrastructure that is inflexible and very difficult, expensive and time-consuming to change.

    Success with service oriented architecture (SOA) starts with a flexible, robust infrastructure that you can use in conjunction with your existing IT assets to create additional business value and flexibility.

    The IBM SOA Foundation

    The IBM SOA Foundation is an integrated, open-standard-based set of software, best practices and patterns that is designed to provide what you need to get started with your SOA. IBM SOA Foundation is designed to help you extend the value of the applications and business processes that are running your business today. You can select components on a build-as-you-go basis, as you need to address new requirements. And you can readily enhance IBM SOA Foundation with capabilities from the broader IBM software portfolio.

    The components that comprise IBM SOA Foundation have been carefully selected to support each stage of the SOA Lifecycle. The SOA Lifecycle includes four stages: model, assemble, deploy and manage. Underpinning all of these lifecycle stages are governance and processes that provide guidance and oversight for a SOA project.

    IBM SOA Foundation is more than just software. It offers SOA best practices through SOA-related guides, white papers and other resources based on extensive customer experience. IBM also provides IBM SOA Industry Accelerators that extend the value of IBM SOA Foundation with industry-specific assets. These accelerators provide best practices in the form of practical how-to guides to apply proven practices to solution implementation.

    To learn more about IBM SOA Foundation, contact Troy Webb of Incentric Solutions at 919.427.0900, or troy.webb@incentric.com or www.ibm.com\soa