Sunday, November 16, 2008

SOA Cookbook

I am getting addicted to the SOA books of Packt Publishing. Now it is the SOA Cookbook that I've been reading with delight. Why with delight? Because, again, the focus is on practical use. The concepts and technologies in the book are challenged against existing products in the market, including tools of BEA, Oracle, TIBCO, and IBM. This is of very great value to practitioners.

The author roughly knocks down some simplifying myths around SOA. He teaches techniques in the modeling of orchestration processes. These processes belong to the process integration layer of the universal model stack provided by the leading vendors: BPM, Process Integration and ESB.

The book starts with the A (architecture) of SOA which has been approached from Kruchten's famous 4+1 model. The author combines aspects of this approach with the well known ARIS method based on the Event-driven Process Chain, EPC which is an evolvement toward EDA.

The book tells you how to separate SOA from BPM (including design tips) and how BPEL fits in this context. Orchestration versus choreography comes to the scene as well. The author explains how choreography is fundamentally decentralized and acts as a set of traffic rules to govern how participants interact, whereas orchestration builds a flow of control around these interactions. Real-life examples using BPMN support the understanding.

Long and short running processes come to the scene and the change problem of dynamic processes is addressed. You can read why the author calls versioning "Poor Man's Change" and why he thinks versioning is only a beneficial approach to vendors, but hurts adopters. "Design processes that are adaptable to begin with", he says.

The book ends with a chapter on measuring the complexity of SOA where Thomas McCabe's cyclomatic complexity measure (1976) is applied to BPEL and TIBCO's BusinessWorks.

Conclusion: the book is of great value to SOA practitioners in the semi-technical domain. That is, it doesn't deal with the organizational aspects of SOA neither does it deal with the hard-core deployment of services. The book implicitly assumes that your IT-organization is mature with regard the building and deploying software and with regard to procedures to control these development processes. This book adds value in teaching you the state of the art techniques of process integration on top of your current development processes.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

i think this is a very good book, thanks for the details.

but up to the moment i didn't manage to get it : (

hope i can soon.