Service-Oriented Architecture: A Planning and Implementation Guide for Business and Technology

By Eric A. Marks & Michael Bell

Wiley & Sons

$59.95 Hardcover

Like many IT advances that bubble to the surface every so often, service-oriented architecture (SOA) has had its share of hype. In the few short years it has been around, SOA has become one of the hottest -- and most misunderstood -- topics in software development.

Part of the misunderstanding stems from the fact that SOA is not a product, a solution or a technology. SOA vendors and advocates have given the impression that it can address just about every IT challenge that comes along.

To put SOA in its proper place, Eric Marks and Michael Bell have written what they believe represents the "state of the art" regarding the business and technology perspectives of SOA. As such, Service-Oriented Architecture: A Planning and Implementation Guide for Business and Technology presents a generalized look at the subject, and claims to answer "most of the critical questions asked by IT and business leaders in today's organizations: How do we get started with SOA? Where do we begin? Where should we focus our SOA efforts? What "services" should we begin with? How do we identify and expose them in our SOA? How do we measure results of our SOA efforts?"

Marks and Bell also tackle one of the more unforgiving aspects of using SOA in a business environment: the semantic and linguistic barriers that exist between business units and an IT organization. As they point out, while goals and objectives can be shared between the two cultures, quite often the approaches are very different in any type of endeavor. The same goes with SOA.

To bridge the gap, the authors try to establish exactly what a service is within an organization, not just Web services. Besides defining what "service" means in SOA, they provide a services model to "assure re-usability, interoperability and integration across all business processes and technology platforms."

Along with understanding the meaning of services within SOA's context, the book provides a detailed, but well organized examination of the major business challenges that SOA resolves, how to implement services once they have been identified and modeled, and ways to establish an SOA technology and services integration model, as well as governance and organization models. And they address the issue of architecture, a critical capability for success.

In the end, Service-Oriented Architecture: A Planning and Implementation Guide delivers what is the first and perhaps most comprehensive road map yet for IT executives, team leaders and developers, whether they are in the business field or government.

Tod Newcombe  |  Senior Editor

With more than 20 years of experience covering state and local government, Tod previously was the editor of Public CIO, e.Republic’s award-winning publication for information technology executives in the public sector. He is now a senior editor for Government Technology and a columnist at Governing magazine.