Category Archives: Service Oriented Architecture

Reshape Reference Architecture: Why, What, How

The reference architectures of the past (i.e. client-server, web application, SOA services) are not adequately addressing current business demand, use cases, and expectations.  IT must update  reference architecture models to remain relevant and effective.

Often outdated processes, tools, and skills inhibit IT’s ability to be a strategic enabler and gain an IT business edge.  By adopting a new, Responsive IT delivery model based on an updated reference architecture, teams can foster effective business collaboration, responsive iterations, streamlined processes, and no wait states; enabling business to operate at the speed of now.

What reference architecture goal-state is required to meet business demands and expectations?

A reference architecture should enable internal and external business service consumers, address future IT strategies, and transition current IT infrastructure and team skill sets.   Do you have a seven step plan describing how to reshape your reference architecture?

A three part slideshare series outlines why reshape reference architecture, what reference architecture models make sense today, and how to reshape reference architecture.

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Defining a SOA governance approach

Service Oriented Architecture initiative success requires creating loosely coupled consumer-provider connections, enforcing a separation of concerns between consumer and provider, exposing a set of re-usable, shared services, and gaining service consumer adoption. Many teams find a SOA or REST focus may not improve IT agility, but result in simply swapping out IT toolsets, message formats, and protocols.

SOA Governance mitigates risk in failing to deliver the [A] in SOA.

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API commons

Service Portfolio is [A] in SOA

A key SOA end-goal is a service portfolio exhibiting a clean architecture. Technical and industry vertical business domain models are useful starting points for development of an organization’s unique service portfolio. Service design and interface design are small pieces in a larger set of programs that must be managed in order to establish highly effective IT service delivery, collaboration, and trust.

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SOA Perspective and API Echo

The SOA perspective is reverberating into an API echo. During past SOA craze days  (2003-2008), proponents pitched SOA’s lofty benefits from both business and technical perspectives.   The benefits are real, yet sometimes very difficult to obtain. Surprisingly, today’s API proponents target similar benefits, but with an execution twist.

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API commons

API-Access Mindset or API-centric Enterprise Mindset

When crafting an API strategy and proposing API benefits, consider whether your organization is pursuing an API-Access Mindset or and API-centric Enterprise Mindset.  These API approaches are similar to recognized Big SOA / Small SOA or Top-down SOA / Bottoms-up SOA approaches.

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Defining a Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) Mindset: Big SOA or Small SOA

How would you define your team’s Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) mindset and the value you derive from Big SOA or Small SOA approaches?

Defining SOA

Service oriented architecture (SOA) represents a significant paradigm shift in application development techniques. SOA is a software design discipline in which application and infrastructure functionality are implemented as shared, reusable services. Each service implements a discrete task, and any application that needs to perform the task uses the shared service to do so. Teams create applications by assembling the appropriate services. After teams implement business functionality as services, an organization, their partners, and their customers should be able to mix and match these services and rapidly create new applications to support changing business requirements.

Because SOA presents an architectural goal state at odds with a long-lived legacy IT portfolio, SOA is a long-term architectural journey, and not a short-term implementation initiative.  Because APIs interconnect business capabilities inside and outside the organization, APIs can provide a platform for business stakeholders sponsoring enterprise IT renewal and pragmatic business execution.


The last ten years of SOA promotion, implementation, and evaluation have cultivated two distinct ways to approach SOA; Big SOA Mindset and Small SOA Mindset.

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Re-shaping Your Enterprise Integration Architecture

To accelerate agility and increase time to market, a Connected Business relies on accessible and integrated business capabilities.  A leading edge integration platform can reshape your enterprise integration architecture and create an integration environment where project teams can easily and rapidly connect, re-use, and compose data, APIs, and services into effective business solutions.

Key challenges

Your business customers and partners expect rapid, low-cost access to timely information, and each business project requires integrating numerous back-end legacy systems, SaaS applications, and data feeds.  While your organization may be focused on ‘not developing applications’, every organization must integrate applications, re-factor legacy capabilities, and establish unified, end-to-end information processing.


By choosing an easy to use, enterprise-ready, and API-centric integration platform, every project team can create a high performance, integration environment that reduces integration cost, interoperates across legacy systems, scales to service message traffic, facilitates governance best practices, and exposes APIs to external partners and mobile applications.

Solution Recommendations

Your goal state enterprise integration architecture delivers the following integration capabilities:

  • Connect anything to anything
  • Democratize enterprise integration
  • Lower integration effort and raise integration quality
  • Fit enterprise integration infrastructure into any project
  • Achieve high performance, high availability, elastic scalability and solid stability


Integration Platform Attributes

When evaluating an integration platform, consider the following attributes:

Connect anything to anything

  • Flexibly expose existing applications and services over different protocols and message formats
  • Connect with SaaS applications, legacy back-ends, and mobile devices
  • Easily incorporate powerful routing and transformation logic

Democratize enterprise integration

  • Lower integration tool learning curve
  • Guide teams towards integration best practices
  • Establish and promote master data, standard APIs, and business services
  • Apply standard integration patterns rapidly and efficiently
  • Encourage API adoption by a wider community

Lower integration effort and raise integration quality

  • Use re-usable enterprise integration pattern building blocks
  • Configure rather than code
  • Apply powerful routing, mediation, and transformation capabilities
  • Enforce enterprise security policies and use cases
  • Integrate  identity management and trust frameworks
  • Lower run-time server instances while maintaining transaction per second (TPS) rates

Fit enterprise integration infrastructure into any project

Achieve high performance, high availability, elastic scalability and solid stability

  • Non-blocking IO processing core, yielding higher performance numbers
  • Supports 1000s of concurrent non-blocking HTTP(S) connections per server
  • Pure streaming and on-demand processing of messages


Integration Architecture Components

Integration architecture components to consider include enterprise service bus, API management, governance registry, business activity monitoring,  message brokers, and identity services.

Enterprise Service Bus

Delivers content routing, protocol mediation, and message transformation that loosely couples service consumer from service provider.  An ESB adapts protocols, formats, and interaction styles to connect with any IT asset by implementing Enterprise Integration Patterns and Message Exchange Patterns

API Management

Encourage resource accessibility, resource re-use, and development community expansion.  API Management components enforce service level tiers, provide developer self-service, encourage API branding, enable monetization, and facilitate integration governance best practices (i.e. API versioning, subscription monitoring, capacity management).

Governance Registry

Store development-time and run-time policies, track dependencies, facilitate lifecycle management, encourage team collaboration, and guide the development process.

Data Services Server

Provides a lightweight, developer friendly, agile development approach for secure and managed integration across federated data stores, performing data transformation, enforcing data validation, creating composite data views, and exposing data as a services.

Message Broker

Exchanges communications asynchronously or publishes messages for timely access by many subscribers.


Recommended Reading

Reshaping Enterprise Architecture Video Presentation

New IT Plan

API and SOA Convergence

API Integration with No Meetings


Change your IT Value Proposition: Build the Plan, Work the Plan

Looking to reshape your IT value proposition, and feel legacy application platform, service infrastructure, or integration infrastructure is holding you back? Let’s talk about how the WSO2 advantage can transform your projects’ experience.    What our your goals, challenges, and constraints?

When building a plan for 2014, consider:

  • Re-shape Enterprise Architecture
  • Re-invent the Integration Platform


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Connected Business Attributes

Connected Business Transformation

Connected businesses grow revenue and outperform peers by increasing customer engagement, enhancing productivity, and seizing market opportunity.    A connected business seamlessly integrates people, process, and data across an extended value chain, decreases interaction cost, and automatically adapts business activity in response to market events.

The connected business environment is:

  • Integrated: accelerates interactions inside and outside the organization
  • Accessible: reduces interaction friction and cost
  • Collaborative: increases engagement and enhances productivity
  • Adaptive: senses business activity and automatically adapts

Connected Business Attributes

Figure 1: Connected Business Environment Attributes

How do you build an accessible, integrated, collaborative, and adaptive business environment?

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