Data - SOA's Last Mile
Maximize the business value of SOA using data services
Aug. 17, 2008 04:45 PM
The Need for a Data Delivered as a Service to SOA
Without a complementary, standards-based, and flexible technology that delivers holistic, accurate, and timely data as a service to an SOA, typical end-user challenges may include:
Therefore, far from making data issues irrelevant, the underlying IT infrastructure poses an actual risk to enterprises that lack a right-time data integration strategy. SOA provides a flexible framework by breaking down barriers between silos of applications and enabling the orchestration of business processes using flexible and reusable application-level or business services. If SOA’s inherent capabilities for flexibility, responsiveness, and reuse are enhanced with the holistic, accurate, and timely information, business agility can definitely be achieved.
What’s needed is a scalable data services technology built on a sophisticated data integration platform that can provide a standards-based data abstraction layer to an SOA, and deliver holistic, accurate, and timely data as a service (see Figure 2). A data service is a modular, reusable, well-defined, business-relevant service that enables the access, integration, and right-time delivery of enterprise data throughout the enterprise and across corporate firewalls. However, unlike application-level or business services, data services are specialized services that are more granular, enable loose-coupling with data sources, are data-centric, and are purpose-built to enable right-time data integration in an SOA.
The data services technology should also be capable of orchestrating or sequencing atomic data services to enable flexible combinations and reuse of sophisticated data integration tasks across projects. As shown in Figure 3, atomic data services must enable sophisticated data integration tasks such as access, profiling, cleansing, transformation, and delivery of data that can be sequenced in various combinations to support the entire data integration lifecycle in an enterprise.
Ideally, a data services technology needs to deliver these sophisticated capabilities to an SOA:
Finally, as performance and scalability are at the heart of any mission-critical operation, the data services technology should also be able to handle high concurrency and large data volumes that are typical requirements of such demanding environments.
SOA & Integration Competency Centers
Data services technology encourages the creation and management of ICCs by standardizing development processes on common technology standards for greater reuse, supporting a shared services environment, supporting a centralized services environment, and enabling the governance processes of data services and data architecture so that definitions, semantics, and SLAs are maintained by the appropriate parties.
An ICC enabled by a data services technology is thus the perfect enabler for data integration in an SOA since it provides the adaptive architecture and technology foundation required to access and deliver holistic, accurate, and timely data throughout the enterprise (see Figure 4). It also delivers the collaboration tools necessary to align cross-functional teams through a single technology, increasing responsiveness to the changing needs of the business. Finally, it provides a secure, scalable, and responsive platform to guarantee access to mission-critical information to support various projects across the enterprise.
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