If you think moving to SOA means you won't have to deal separately with application integration, think again, says Gartner research vice president Jess Thompson. Thompson contends application integration is fundamental for deploying services, especially given Gartner's prediction that over 70 percent of services deployed through SOA will be built using existing applications.
Thompson and fellow Gartner analyst Jeff Comport made their case for application integration's continued importance in a recent free podcast. Honestly, I didn't know anyone was contesting this position, but Gartner so seldom gives anything away, I thought I'd listen anyway. And I'm glad I did, because I learned a lot from this 10:53 minute discussion.
Thompson's thesis is that IT shouldn't toss out the lessons of application integration as it begins SOA. After all, the first wave of application integration involved defining good services and practical processes, which are going to be critical components for successful services.
He also offered a few recommendations:
I'm probably going to reveal what a complete ignoramus I can be about some things, but while I'm on it, Thompson went on to define what he meant by discipline. That's a word I see thrown around a lot, to the point where it seems to have several meanings. So when he defined the discipline of BPM, I wrote it down:
A set of activities that go around a lifecycle that starts from a definition of business processes and continuing through measuring the execution of deployed business processes, analyzing the metrics associated with that execution and then optimizing the processes based on that.
As is typical of Gartner, the discussion seems mostly applicable to large enterprises, but there's takeaway here for mid-size organizations as well: