A large client had challenges making its core data highly available, performant, and standardized to enable enterprise transformation. This led to various non-standard implementations to address one-off service issues related to data and performance. The client needed a comprehensive strategy that was extensible, as well as agile to meet the demands of various initiatives depended on it.
We led strategy development and execution to change the organizations approach to Service-Oriented Architecture (SOA) by focusing on: 1) Source data from systems of engagement rather than systems of reference, 2) Microservices to eliminate big monolithic services, 3) Standard APIs to deliver data to apps.
1. Switch to Systems of Engagement
Most of the existing SOA used data that is sourced directly from systems of reference. Often these were mainframe based and suffered from performance problems, longer development timelines, and rigid data structures. The strategy was based on building Enterprise Hubs that would serve as Systems of Engagement from a Data perspective. This allowed the data to be sourced using simple access mechanisms and thus simplified development. Additionally, since the Enterprise Hubs could be built on high performance software and hardware, performance of the systems of Engagement easily surpassed any architecture that involved direct access to the System of Reference.
2. Focus on Microservices
One of the struggles with the existing SOA was that it was geared towards integrating and building out large monolithic services that incorporated process logic, business logic, integration and aggregation. This resulted in unwieldy and hard to use services that didn’t lend well to development with modern applications. The shift to microservices allowed the organization to build out very specific services that could then use the capabilities of the applications to aggregate the services as needed.
3. Standardize on APIs to delivery data to applications
An API gateway was selected to deliver access to the microservices. This allowed the organization to standardize on REST based access for all data delivery for customer facing applications. Applications could use the flexible nature of the REST APIs and rapidly develop functionality and capability.
Enablement of enterprise-wide value stream and capability transformation. The strategy was rapidly developed by focusing on core data that could be added to the enterprise hub. An initial set of APIs were created and made available to applications. Two of the core application development efforts that the organization executed on were able to leverage the APIs to successfully deliver their products in approximately half the time that they would have normally taken. Overall, the strategy has made the SOA organization agile and responsive to the needs of the organization