Monday, July 20, 2009

Business Process Management (Part-1 Foundation[Chapter II Evolution of Enterprise Systems Architectures ] ) Sec K -- By Mathias Weske

Enterprise Services Computing

Service-oriented computing is one of the major trends both in business engineering and software technology. The main idea of service orientation is to capture business relevant functionality as a service and provide sufficiently detailed information so that customers can use it. This definition of service orientation goes well beyond services that are realized by software systems. Consider a real-world service, for example, one to fix a car. The service the garage provides needs to be specified in a way that the customer can find and use. Once the car is fixed, the customer pays the bill and the service is completed. There are specific registries for finding real-world services, for instance, yellow page directories. This general idea of service orientation is applied to services provided by software systems. The requirements that apply to real-world services also need to be satisfied for services realized by software systems. Service-oriented computing uses well-specified service interfaces that rely on common interface definition languages to combine several services to new service-oriented applications. If service-oriented computing is used in largescale environments, an organizing principle is useful; this principle is introduced by service-oriented architectures, discussed next.

Service-Oriented Architectures

Steve Burbeck, one of the early advocates of service-oriented architectures, defines service-orientation as follows. Services are loosely-coupled computing tasks communicating over the internet that play a growing part in business-to-business interactions. [...] We reserve the term service-oriented for architectures that focus on how services are described and organized to support their dynamic, automated discovery and use. We do not address systems based on manually hardwired interactions, such as those used in EDI systems. In this definition, services communicate over the Internet. This means that services are expected to be used in business-to-business scenarios, where the participants are connected by the Internet. Although not explicitly ruled out, services that are provided and used within a company do not fully qualify in Burbeck’s definition. The second interesting aspect of this definition is the high degree of flexibility provided by late, run time finding and binding of services. Matching a service request to a set of service specifications in a service registry is a complex task, especially if automated discovery and use are sought, as implied by the definition. Burbeck’s definition mirrors the long-term vision of service-oriented architectures. But this architectural style is not only useful in Internet settings, where the services are provided by different organizations in businessto- business scenarios, but also in intracompany settings. Therefore this book adopts the following definitions. Definition 2.7 A service captures functionality with a business value that is ready to be used. Services are made available by service providers. A service requires a service description that can be accessed and understood by potential service requestors. Software services are services that are realized by software systems. Service-oriented architectures are software architectures that provide an environment for describing and finding software services, and for binding to services. Descriptions of software services provide a level of detail that facilitates service requestors to bind to and invoke them.  Service-oriented architectures are especially important in environments where many services are available and where the set of available services changes over time. Burbeck investigates this aspect in more detail and states as follows. To work easily, flexibly, and well together, services must be based on shared organizing principles that constitute a service-oriented architecture.

In a service-oriented architecture, organizations may use services offered by other companies, and companies may provide services to a growing services market. The vision is for information systems to use business functionality of service providers, so that reuse of functionality is realized at a level of coarse granularity. New applications can be built with less effort and existing applications can be efficiently adapted to changing requirements, reducing maintenance and development cost.
To enable service requestors to find and use them, they are specified, and their descriptions are stored in a service registry. The interactions between the three primary roles in service-oriented architecture are publish, request/reply, and bind. The service provider publishes service specifications in a service registry, and the service requestor searches the service registry and finds suitable services. The service registry provides the service requestor with information that allows the service requestor to bind to the service and, eventually, invoke it.

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