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Five best practices for deploying a successful SOA

Executive Summary

Today’s innovative market leaders are in the forefront of implementing advanced business applications—leveraging industry- specific solution frameworks supported by a service-oriented architecture (SOA). In fact, yours may be one of many organizations already using the IBM SOA Foundation1, which can help improve the integration of your business applications and data while empowering your environment to respond more quickly to demands for new and changing services. As a business leader, you expect efficient transformation, not problems or delayed deployments. Your goal is to see a rapid return on your invest- ment, and when it’s time to report to the boardroom, you want the discussion to focus on outstanding results.

1 Typical SOA Foundation case study: Integration of IBM program products with legacy and newly created applications over the duration of about four (4) months.


Like your organization, IBM strives for high achievement and consistent, measurable results. To this end, the IBM Academy of Technology recently initiated a study of SOA Foundation deployments. With the objective of identifying a set of best practices based on successful outcomes, a team of IBM’s top technologists—120 IT architects, developers, IT specialists, and project managers from around the globe—reviewed more than 200 case study submissions, choosing nearly 100 case studies that were selected for evaluation. The team categorized 750 lessons learned and 650 best practices across 10 domain categories identified as the most important focus areas for a successful SOA deployment, including:

  • Business process modeling, monitoring, management, dashboards

  • Enterprise service bus (ESB) implementation and federation

  • Information as a service

  • Methods and tools

  • Solutions and interoperability

  • Meeting nonfunctional requirements

  • Rapid delivery of pilot / proof of concept

  • Development and operational environment installation, configuration

  • Problem determination and resolutions, debugging, testing

  • Organizational factors

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