Day 1 At Microsoft SOA & Business Process Conference

Today will be the first day at the Microsoft SOA and Business Process Conference. It will start off with a key-note of David Chappell called: SOA, BPM and Microsoft: A Pragmatic View. This will be very interesting to see what his view on those topics is from a Microsoft perspective. Later there will be a keynote: Real World SOA from John deVadoss. In the afternoon I will be attending a session from John Evdemon who will be discussing: The Architecture of SOA. After that session I will go the next called Choosing the Right Technology for Exposing & Composing Services. I will end the day with another session of David Chappell, who will discuss: Selling BizTalk-Based Engagements.

So what did David Chappell tell the audience about SOA. He looks in this talk at SOA in a pragmatic point of view. Making SOA real is about three things:
A) Standardize
B) Infrastructure
C) Business Process Management

For standardization one has to agree on protocol like SOAP, WS-* and foundation like WCF for Microsoft or Service Component Architecture (SCA) IBM, Oracle. For definition of data XML can be used. An infrastructure for effective communication should be implemented to make SOA work. Microsoft has a product BizTalk, which role is INTEGRATION. Together with WCF an effective communication infrastructure can be achieved. Finally BPM is a bunch of processes. Core technologies for BPM are Workflow (system, human), graphic tooling, Business Rule Engine (BRE), Business Application Monitoring (BAM) and integration. BPM and SOA fit together and Microsoft is delivering BizTalk (system workflow), WWF, SharePoint Services 3.0 (human workflow) and Office SharePoint 2007 for it.

Next talk from John deVadoss jump into real world SOA. First note he made was about business value. To implement an SOA a business driver for it to implement is necessary. Microsoft has been an industry catalyst to standards like WS-* and tooling. SOA is an architectural style not a product, but a means to an end to deliver business value and to be agile. SOA has been hyped the last couple of years and has a lot of attention. Some companies have been successful in implementing an SOA like DELL, SANDVIK, Common Wealth Bank and SIEMENS. He did not in this talk look SOA in an academic way or approached in such a manner. Realizing a SOA requires business drivers (sound business reason) and should be realized in an incremental way, not a big bang (all at once). Other requirements are tooling, management and security. There is a 3 part model to create a SOA from a Microsoft point of view. It starts with service enabling; build services around i.e. legacy systems, data silos, LOB (line of business). Next is enabling compositions to create workflows, orchestrations... automate business processes. Finally compositions will be consumed by devices, portals, web 2.0 ect.. Services, Compositions and consumptions have to be managed and secured (identity and authorizations).

At 13:00 John Evdemon started his talk about the Architecture in SOA. Importance of the A in SOA. Business benefits an SOA can provide is agility. Fast adoption to a changing business to be efficient in ones processes. But before starting a SOA, one needs to think first before implementing it. For a given business problem one needs to think in solutions. Further one in this talk he dived into the 3 part model, discussed by John deVadoss in previous talk, but more in detail. The 3 part model being expose/compose/consume, where expose is about making resources available (service enabling), compose to aggregate services into a workflow or orchestration and consume make use of compositions in user interfaces made available in portals, web 2.0, devices, applications). Looking at architectural perspective to this model there are in John point of view a number of recurring logical capabilities at each level of it. These capabilities are:



He explained every capability at each level of the model. The presentation detail can be found at http://blogs.msdn.com/jevdemon/.

At 2:30 Kris Horrocks did his talk about choosing the right technology for exposing and composing services. He refered back to early discussed model of expose/compose/consume.

Technology to service enable assests (resources) and compose these services is what he will be focussing on this session. He pointed that composition is in fact business process. To expose legacy systems Microsoft will be delivering adapters for it (Host Integration Server) for Cobol, RPG code, DB2 databses on AS400 ans so on.

Looking at databases a SOA will place new requirements on them. SQL Server 2005 has new features like web services, SQL Server Broker (queue mechanism), query notification (event model). For bulk, cleansing and rationalization SQL Server has SSIS (SQL Server Integration Services), whereas for discrete messages +/- 50 Mb binary size BizTalk can be used. Eventually one has to look at needs for data transport in a SOA. The trade-off is between bulk vs. discrete or data vs. application.

Next thing he discussed was Windows Communication Foundation to be used to expose resources. He talked about binding and configuration of services build with WCF. WCF is a common framework that resides every distributed technology from Microsoft so far: remoting, DCOM, Web Services and so on.

So far about the exposing part, now the composing part and the technology for it. Services can communicate through endpoints; point to point. BizTalk can mediate between endpoints and provide in a standard infrastructure for it. It can host business process as a composition of services and expose itself as a service. In case of human interaction in a business process BizTalk and SharePoint could be paired together in a new technology Windows Workflow Foundation.
This concludes day 1 at the conference for me, I did not make any notes of Selling BizTalk-Based Engagements by David Chappell. I only listen to his enthusiastic talk of the subject.

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