I am now live blogging the Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) seminar by Ms. Janell Straach of IBM at UHCL. I am not in the software architect area so bear with my naivety.
The talk starts with the old faithful fact: Organizations need to change. Changes are the only permanent fact, and that IT becomes a critical challenge for facilitating and managing changes.
Janell then talks about the changes in software architectures in the recent years, where SOA is the next natural architecture evolution. Google map services are used as an example why it is necessary to maintain connectivity to services.
To address the barrier to flexibility, SOA tries to reuse IT systems and encourages open standards. SOA encourages cross disciplined approaches, which are no longer focused on IT and implementation. The business aspect lfirst ooks into the business model to identify the services to support the business model.
The SOA lifecycle includes four phases: modeling, assembling, deploying and managing phases, which are iterative. It seems similar to some of the more traditional life-cycle models, such as the spiral model in the 80s, except the business aspects are strongly emphasized.
The software development now seems to be more business-driven. The identified services are mainly supported by an 'enterprise service bus,' which is the the backbone for other services, such as 'process services', 'partner services', 'interaction services', 'business application services', 'information services' and 'access services.' The enterprise service bus is basically responsible for the connectivity championed by SOA. One service component can be used to support another service component with requests and results going through the bus.
She indicates that SOA embraces both open source and open standards. Some standards mentioned are BPEL, PHP, XML, Web services, Open Documents, Web 2.0 innovations, C++, etc. In particular, Web service is the enabler, probably for the enterprise service bus.
Like most Web applications development, SOA adoption is meant to be iterative and incremental. This is very similar to the Web 2.0 concept of the perpetual beta.
The impact on computing and information systems students? Businesses need more 'T-shaped' people that is both deep and broad. You will need to work with many different kinds of professionals and will need good skills in communications, process analysis, business and management, etc., on top of your technical skills. This is similar to what we have emphasized in this blog over and over again.
She then indicates that IBM does hire students for internship. Interested students can email her at firstname.lastname@example.org. There are many categories of internship available in many cities, including through telecommunications. International students can also apply. Having the wanted skills of a particular internship will increase the chance of getting accepted.
P.S. After the seminar, I am also fortunate that Janell has read this and has found the blog to be 'great' and accurate. So, I am not entirely off base. Thanks, Janell, for the excellent presentation. Here is the PPT presentation slides.