Category: South East Asian SOA Thought Leadership

06/04/09

Evaluating the Open Source SOA Opportunity

The solutions now offered in Open Source for implementing SOA have begun to provide extensive value but customers and systems integrators should be cautious and think strategically when assessing the value of these solutions. Projects such as WS02 and semi-open source (non-GPL, non-BSD, non-Apache) solutions such as Intalio BPMS are now comparable and even superior to many or even all their closed source counterparts. Considering some of the open source licenses offered by vendors it is necessary to take a cautious and well informed approach to open source offerings. Many of these solutions are contrived contributions that do not have a strong 3rd party developer community and are principally developed by one vendor with the dubious goal of proliferating their software and gaining the mind-share of the broader developer community. In my opinion the strategic focus of customers seeking open source solutions should be on those open source vendors licensing completely open and community driven software licenses along with support and subscription based licensing. In general customers should be cautions of vendors offering so called open source or community editions and a so called closed source enterprise edition. Watch this space for updates.

10/28/08

Permalink 01:02:52 pm, by Henry Chandra Email , 182 words, 12100 views   English (US)
Categories: South East Asian SOA Thought Leadership

ITARC Indonesia, November 13 - 14, 2008

IASAI’d like to share some good news for IT practitioners in Jakarta.

IASA Indonesia Chapter is hosting the 1st ITARC in Indonesia. ITARC (IT Architect Regional Conference) is the largest regional event that addresses the needs of IT architects today. It’s held in several countries in the region, like Malaysia, Singapore, Bangkok and Indonesia annually. ITARC Indonesia will be held on November 13 and 14, 2008 in Menara Peninsula Hotel, Jakarta, Indonesia.

The event features world renowned architecture gurus like Grady Booch, inventor of UML (LinkedIn profile) and Scott Ambler, pioneer of Agile methodology (LinkedIn profile). Two of PWS directors will also participate to speak in the event, Mr. David Forden (LinkedIn profile) and myself (LinkedIn profile). We will be speaking about Enterprise Architecture and Business Process Management.

This is really a unique opportunities to IT architects in Jakarta and other IT practitioners in general to come, learn, share and broaden their knowledge and capabilities around IT architecture and other facets of IT. For more information and registration details, please visit http://www.iasahome.org/web/itarc/indonesia

Definitely something you don’t want to miss!

08/19/08

Permalink 08:18:47 pm, by Henry Chandra Email , 277 words, 3262 views   English (US)
Categories: South East Asian SOA Thought Leadership

Business Process Management: Implementing Continuous Improvement in Your Organization

Business Process Management: Implementing Continuous Improvement in Your OrganizationI will be running the Business Process Management Workshops in Jakarta and Kuala Lumpur by the end of this month.

This 2-days workshop is titled “Implementing Continuous Improvement in Your Organization”. It is organized by JCCreative and supported by PWS Consulting and IASA. We will be discussing about the BPM Implementation Framework in details and how to embed BPM within the organization and aligning it with other technology initiatives like SOA, ECM and Web 2.0

The BPM Implementation Framework itself is a 10-phase implementation framework which covers the following:

  • Organization Foundation
  • Process Foundation
  • Technology Foundation
  • Elaboration
  • Improvement
  • People and Technology Development
  • Deployment
  • Monitor and Benefit Realization
  • Continuous Improvement

The framework will guide the organization by providing a solid reference in implementing BPM. It will touch essential elements, like:

  • Aligning the BPM initiative with the organization strategy
  • Setting up rules and guidelines for the process models
  • Taking a look at the IT infrastructures that support the BPM initiative
  • Setting up the project goals, business case and project teams for the execution of the projects
  • Understanding, modeling and baselining based on the current processes
  • Improving and prioritizing the improvements
  • People development, people change management and integrating supporting IT infrastructure to develop an automated BPM solution
  • Deployment, training of staffs
  • Monitoring and realizing the BPM benefits in each phase of the framework
  • Last, but not least, embedding and converting the results of the project into the business-as-usual daily activities

The workshop targets a broad range of audience from business process consultants, architects, IT consultants to C-level executives. For further information about the workshop and registration details, please visit http://jccreativemax.com/bpm-home1.htm

I am really looking forward for the workshops.

07/04/08

Permalink 12:50:46 pm, by Henry Chandra Email , 592 words, 2259 views   English (US)
Categories: South East Asian SOA Thought Leadership

How messy is your house?

MessyIt’s human nature to be messy. A house that always stays neat is a house that is not inhabited, a display house, a sample house. When people come in to the house, the house is bound to be messy, how messy it will be depends on the inhabitants of the house, but at some point in time, you will see dirty plates on the sink, clothes lying on the couch, dirty bathroom and food remains on the floor. But all of that indicate life in the house, it’s not a showroom in some furniture shop, it’s a real house, a home to its inhabitants.

So is IT infrastructure. No matter how well you design a system, it will get tangled over time. Tangled with new functionalities that are urgent and need to be added immediately to accommodate new business needs, old functionalities that are altered to fix bugs, new systems that are introduced, programmers who come and go, documentations which are scattered, you name it! Change is a part of life, so it is a part of IT system life cycle. Things get more challenging if the system is a distributed and loosely coupled system like SOA-based system. SOA infrastructure relies a lot on services, now these services can come from internal sources, can also come from external sources (e.g. partners, suppliers, etc.), legacy systems or any other sources where the IT department has little or no authority to influence.
Services that comprise the SOA infrastructure need to be reliable and re-usable, they need to execute properly within the boundaries of their SLAs, they need to be backward compatible when they are changed, they need to be secure, etc. An SOA infrastructure will not function well without the services functioning as expected.

Out of this mess, the question arises, how to build and maintain a reliable and manageable SOA infrastructure? The answer is as simple as keeping your house neat and tidy. No, it’s not shoving the dirt under the rag, that’s quick but dirty solution to an already messed up situation. There’s the human management aspect of it, where experts of the systems (or their knowledge) need to be retained properly to ensure continuity of the system development and maintenance. The other aspect is governance, SOA governance (wikipedia definition). It should be part of every facet of SOA infrastructure life cycle and it should be executed diligently to ensure the SOA infrastructure stays healthy and agile.

Start from the phase of development, services have to be benchmarked for its suitability for re-use, SLAs are established and maintained, audit and logging to the service activities are put in place, proper testing mechanism, including regression testing, etc. Then comes the staging phase where services are validated against SLAs, simulated in production environment and inter-linked with other services. The production stage governance includes tasks like discovering the service topology, managing SLAs, managing security, keeping track of audit and logging, exception detection and handling and managing changes to the services.

A well-governed SOA implementation will deliver all of the promises of an efficient, transparent and agile system that supports agile business requirements. Without proper governance, it will end up as JBOWS (Just a Bunch Of Web Services) architecture. If your IT department loses visibility of its system and doesn’t really know the service network and interactions inside it, it can not maintain the system well, let alone enhances it. It’s like living in a house so messy that you can not find where you put your plates when you are already starving for dinner.

06/25/08

Permalink 02:10:06 pm, by Henry Chandra Email , 407 words, 2509 views   English (US)
Categories: South East Asian SOA Thought Leadership

Re-use, re-use, re-use!

During my presentation in the “Application Integration Architecture of Excellence” at Sari Pan Pacific Hotel, Jakarta, several questions were asked by the audience related to how much coding and technical development work is required by one organization if they want begin their transition towards SOA.
See presentation slide in SlideShare
Application Integration Architecture of ExcellenceSlideShare | View | Upload your own

The develop-and-deploy paradigm of most IT technical people needs to be changed in light of the re-usability spirit promoted by SOA. SOA is about re-using existing application functionalities and services which have been proven to perform business functions well, then integrate them into an orchestrated service to perform business process. So, the question should not be how much should I develop? It should be how much can I re-use?

When new functionalities are required, an organization can be presented with two options: purchase the packaged application to perform the required business function or develop the application in-house. If purchasing packaged application is opted, then SOA can set the standards for the new application, it has to be SOA-ready (a.k.a. to some technical guys may call it support WS* standards). SOA-ready applications are ready to plug and play to the enterprise service bus, which is the integration backbone of the organization, the effort to integrate it will be relatively minimal. If the organization decides to develop its own application to serve the required business needs, then they need to bear the MVC framework mentality in mind (See: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Model-view-controller). Clear separation between Model-View-Controller has been proven to clearly distinguish business functionalities from the underlying data model and the presentation codes. These business functionalities, which is the “C” in “MVC", can then be aggregated into business services that can be plugged into the enterprise service bus. Without clear separation among the Model-View-Controller functionalities, the newly developed application will be difficult to be service-enabled.

The message delivered by SOA is clear: re-use whenever you can, only develop if you really need to, this will save time and cost, this will enable application delivery faster and cheaper. The integrated services will set the necessary ground for future composite applications built re-using current functionalities. This places more importance on proper SOA management and governance to make sure that service discovery and management can be done efficiently. The ROI of the architecture may not be instant, but in the long run, it will make business more agile and more efficient if done correctly.

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The intention of this blog is to collect thoughts on the issues, paradigms, process, vendors, solutions, project and any other item related service oriented architecture in South East Asia.

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