2010/09/06

Book review: SOA: An Integration Blueprint

Introduction

This describes a review of the book: Service-Oriented Architecture: An Integration Blueprint. The book is written by Guido Schmutz, Daniel Liebhart and Peter Welkenbach.
The book is about successfully implementing your own enterprise integration architecture using the Trivadis Integration Architecture Blueprint (TIAB). The authors try to set a standard for integration problems that organisation face.

Chapters

The book contains 5 chapters, but unfortunately the subchapters are not numbered and sometimes it is difficult to see what belongs to what.
Chapter 1: Basic Principles
Chapter 2: Base Technologies
Chapter 3: Integration Architecture Blueprint
Chapter 4: Implementation scenarios
Chapter 5: Vendor Products for Implementing the Trivadis Blueprint
I will dive deeper into the chapters later on, but first some general remarks about the book.

General remarks

  • As sais before I missed the subchapter numbering.
  • The book describes an integration blueprint, so the term Service-Oriented Architecture as title is misleading. The book does not even mention Thomas Erl's books.
  • I miss the description of the WS-* standards, commonly used within integration- and service oriented architectures.
  • I miss the description of XML, XML Schema, XSLT, XQuery, commonly used within integration- and service oriented architectures.
  • The layering described within the book, of the integration solution is clear, but not totally new. There are a lot books already describing the 5-layering model used within a SOA.
  • On a scal of 1-5 stars, I would rate the book as 2.

Ch1 - Basic Principles

This chapter describes the basic principles of EAI, SOA, Grid Computing and XTP. Because of the missing subchapter numbering, this chapter looks chaotic.
All common terms are described like ESB, Hub-and-Spoke, Middleware, Communication methods, SOA, Broker, Router, EDA.
Some of the concepts are used within the blueprint, but most are not.

Ch2 - Base Technologies

This chapter describes a selection of the base solutions related to the implementation of solutions based on the Blueprint.
It covers OGSi, JCA, JBI, ESB, SCA and SDO.
Most of the technologies are not further described within the Blueprint exampels, so this chapters is a little bit confusing and misses a lot of other common technologies like XML Schema, XSLT, XQuery, WSDL, SOAP, etc.
At least the technologies could be mentioned.

Ch3 - Integration Architecture Blueprint

This chapter covers the Blueprint and is actually well worth reading. The authors make a distinction between the Applications and Data View and the Integration View.
The Integration View is divided in three levels: Application, Integration Domain and Transport level.
Within the integration there are 5 layers: Communication-, Collection-, Mediation- and Distribution layer. Each layer has its reponsibilities. In the next chapters all the layers are described in more detail.

The nice thing about the Blueprint is that it gives you a "standard" way to describe, design and implement a integration solution. It comes with a small set of notation elements too.

Ch4 - Implementation scenarios

This chapter describes some integration scenarios using the Blueprint. There is also an example that claims to be SOA but that remains to be seen. The approach taken is just the "old" integration using new technology.

Ch5 - Vendor Products for Implementing the Trivadis Blueprint

This chapter maps some product lines to the Blueprint. It covers: Oracle Fusion Middleware, IBM WebSphere, Microsoft Biztalk and Spring Framework.

Conclusion

I liked the layering approach of the Integration Blueprint but I miss the WS-* and XML standards in the book. Furthermore I think the Blueprint can get very complex when you also want to describe handling errors and other bad weather scenarios.
I missed the purpose of chapter2 mainly because it is not addressed further in the next chapters and how it is used within the Blueprint.

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