Moving toward SOA

PCQ Bureau
New Update

Every time I've asked SOA players to give some Indian success stories, I've

received responses like they're still in the process of finalizing. Whether

there are any major success stories or not doesn't matter. What does matter is

that SOA is an interesting concept and completely different from the usual way

of deploying applications.


One aspect of it is to build apps around existing ones, which don't

necessarily have to be your own. You could use someone else's app, provided that

company has exposed it as a web service.

For example, FedEx the logistics company has exposed many parts of its

applications as web services. One of them is the tracking service, which let's

one view tracking information of inbound, outbound, or third party shipments. If

you deal with FedEx regularly, then you could consume this service and integrate

it with your own application. Suppose you're a manufacturing company that

imports raw materials for your production via FedEx. If your shipment

information from FedEx can directly be imported in your application, then it

could help streamline your production cycles. Similarly, if your company can

also expose parts of its apps as web services, then your customers, partners,

and suppliers can integrate them with their apps.

Anil Chopra,



SOA is not limited to integrating external applications alone. Organizations

can also use it for integrating their internal applications as well. In fact,

SOA is meant to make enterprise application integration easier. However, in

order for SOA's potential to be realized, it's important that companies also

share web services with others and create an eco-system around it.

The million dollar question therefore is, where do you start? For one, start

by analyzing what kind of information your customers, suppliers, or partners

require from you on a regular basis. How much of that information has to be

pulled out from your enterprise applications? For instance, would it help if you

exposed your inventory status as a web service to your suppliers? They could

integrate it into their own application and know when to supply the raw

materials to you. Likewise, look at other web services to publish and also check

whether your partners can also do the same.

 These are only a few broad points I've covered on SOA, hoping to get

the message across. It requires a different kind of thinking, both from the

technical as well as business sides. Our cover story this time is about web

services and SOA. We've also broken it up into two parts. The first part

explains what it is along with some real live examples. In the second part,

we've actually gone ahead and published some web services on various platforms.

After all, the proof of the pudding lies in eating it. Try them out yourself and

see if your organization benefits. Maybe this could be the start of your journey

towards SOA.