Founder and senior analyst of ZapThink, Ron Schmelzer is a well-known expert in the field of XML and XML-based standards and initiatives. Ron has been featured and written for periodicals, and has spoken at numerous industry conferences including XML One, Comdex, and Internet World on the topic of XML. Ron was named "Geek of the Week" in Internet Magazine and was listed among Boston Magazine's Internet Top 40. Ron was lead author of "XML and Web Services Unleashed" (SAMS, March 2002) and received a B.S. degree in Computer Science and Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
Service-oriented integration: Using Web services for application, system and business integration.
Ron was king enough to answer the questions we couldn't get to during our Webcast. If you couldn't attend Ron's Webcast, be sure to
"Does SOI require a huge system rewrite or can we evolve our existing system?"
"What are the key pitfalls to be aware of when implementing SOI solutions?"
"What does service-oriented architecture mean for existing hub-and-spoke strategies?"
Ron Schmelzer: The answer is that in the short term, companies can apply SOI as a simple way of exposing existing interfaces. Many existing tools are trying to make this as easy and cost-effective as possible, and as such, adding SOAP interfaces to systems should be relatively easy nowadays. However, the big challenge is in creating service-oriented architectures. That may end up requiring the rearchitecting of systems, or probably the re-engineering of different integration paths. Basically, we need to get a grasp on granularity, service definition, and dynamic bind/find in order to make the most of SOI. If not, we'll be back to 1995 ;)
"ERP, EAI, etc. all take tremendous resources. How is SOI different from a business perspective?":
Ron Schmelzer: You are right, these all have tremendous implications, and unless people take a service-oriented approach to SOI, we will be stuck in the same hole. The idea is to be able to take advantage of the standards-based, loosely-coupled paradigm of SOI to simplify integration by making our systems more agile. If not, we risk falling into the same traps as before.
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