Presentation: "Steering the Northwest Passage: Beginning an SOA Initiative"

Time: Wednesday 10:45 - 11:45

Location: St. James's Suite

Abstract: "SOA. There's lots of knowledge out there, but we've never done it. Where do we start? What must we do?" In this session we present a map of the territory to be explored over the course of an SOA initiative. We'll discuss how, by populating this map in an agile, iterative manner with business, architectural and technology artefacts we quickly: - establish context, business goals and consensus amongst stakeholders; - create a long-term vision that joins up the business, architectural and technology views of an SOA initiative; - deliver working software early and often in support of that vision; - repeatedly question, prove and refine an initiative's goals and the artefacts that support those goals. As part of this "thin-slice" approach we'll look at 4 key artefacts: - Stories, which describe goals and desired outcomes; - Capabilities, which encapsulate the resources and abilities an organisation needs to satisfy those goals; - Services, which host capabilities; - Consumer-driven contracts, which assert the interactions between services. In addition, We'll drill down into a number of activities and additional artefacts that we use to: - describe and challenge an organisation's goals and the benefits attached to those goals; - describe the capabilities needed to meet those goals; - identify the quality-of-service expectations the business has of those capabilities; - assign capabilities to services; - describe and test the externally visible interactions between services; - identify, plan and develop slices of service functionality that deliver business benefits. But knowing what you want to achieve, and what you need produce to meet your goals, is only one step towards success. Very few organisations start with a clean slate: if you're faced with a slew of in-flight, stovepipe projects – each with their own discreet goals and technology quirks; competing buy versus build pressures; a PMO and budgetary structure built around project silos; and operational staff at least one remove – process-wise and even geographically – from your development teams, then you'll need to know how to get an initiative up and running, and keep it on track. We'll round out the session with a practical engagement model that adds the 'how' to the 'what' and the 'why'.
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Ian Robinson, ThoughtWorks

 Ian  Robinson

Ian Robinson ( is a Principal Consultant with ThoughtWorks, where he specializes in the design and delivery of service-oriented and distributed systems.

He has written guidance for Microsoft on implementing integration patterns with Microsoft technologies,and has published articles on business-oriented development methodologies and distributed systems design ? most recently in The ThoughtWorks Anthology (Pragmatic Programmers, 2008).

He is currently co-authoring a book on Web-friendly enterprise integration.