Towards an On Demand Services Oriented Architecture: Integrating Business Processes, Application and IT Infrastructure Enablement in Enterprise Computing Environments

The success of an on demand e-business is critically linked to the realization that business
process, application, and IT infrastructure integration must merge into a comprehensive and
cohesive architecture, where business process transformation drives services-based application
enablement and on demand enterprise computing. This type of architecture is often described as a
Services Oriented Architecture (SOA) and is seen as the prerequisite accelerator for the on demand
operating environment.

The traditional focus of the SOA has been on dynamic re -configuration of services from a
defined business process, and on writing components as standards, based on Web Services and, more
recently, grid services. Current descriptions of SOA are less focused on overall IT infrastructure
enablement both from a business policy perspective and within the context of service-based
application development. For example, how are security, availability, or performance policies derived
from business process policies? How do such policies relate to provisioning, scheduling or other
resource virtualization technologies?

Minimal information has been published on how we can improve or enhance business processes
in light of emerging technologies in Web Services, autonomic computing, grid, or utility based
computing. Deficiencies in current SOA descriptions and the reciprocal problem of a lack of clear
articulation regarding how the enabling technologies can deliver SOA implementations, are an
impediment to the development of an integrated SOA solution and offering strategy. Even if we
clarify the mapping between SOA descriptions, autonomic functions, and business policies/processes,
we still face the non-trivial task of providing application and middleware tooling. Such tooling should
be able to support the creation and lifetime management of these now flexible IT environments.

In this paper, we will extend the current ideas of SOA to include a more comprehensive
integration of business process transformation and the enabling technologies of services-based
application development and policy-based IT management. We call this extension the On Demand
SOA. We will develop these concepts using an existing scenario: a Financial Services Sector “Life
Changes” business process scenario, which involves distributed and disjoint transactions as well as
stateless High Performance Computing (HPC) applications. This paper will conclude with a strategy
for developing On Demand SOA service offerings.

By: Catherine H. Crawford, Pau Bate, Luba Cherbakov, Kerrie Holley, Charles Tsocanos

Published in: RC23109 in 2004


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